Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|You Are Not Alone|
Actors: Anders Agensø, Peter Bjerg, Ove Sprogøe, Elin Reimer, Jan Jørgensen
Directors: Ernst Johansen, Lasse Nielsen
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Gay & Lesbian
Unflinchingly honest and boundlessly lyrical, the exploration of sexual awakening in You Are Not Alone was a turning point in world cinema. At a Danish boy?s boarding school in the late 1970s, Bo and Kim are naive young cl... more »
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Finding Self, Finding Love
Grady Harp | Los Angeles, CA United States | 12/14/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"DU ER IKKE ALENE (You Are Not Alone) is a 1978 Danish landmark film written by Lasse Nielsen and Bent Petersen and directed by Nielsen and Ernst Johansen. When the period during which this film was made, a time when gay theme movies were all but verboten, this little film is a brave, delicate, tender, unpretentious tale of the bonding, both emotional and physical, that occurs between two young boys in a boarding school in Denmark. The story develops slowly and insidiously, a fact that makes some viewers find it boring or slow. But for this viewer the pacing of the story is intricately involved in this tale of the fragile first attractions that occur in young boys: everything is new, and nothing is rushed - it just happens and evolves.
Kim (Peter Bjerg) is a young prepuberal youth living with his parents: his father (Ove Sprogøe) is headmaster of a boys' school and his mother (Elin Reimer) is in line with the father's hardline standards. Though not a student in the school, Kim does associate with the young high school age boys and finds one lad in particular, Bo (Anders Agensø), a role model who shows concern for Kim and with whom Kim bonds, emotionally and eventually physically. The manner in which this occurs is never acted out but merely suggested in the most discreet and beautiful way. But we watch as this bond develops more strongly, with each of the boys nascent to the situation in which they find themselves.
The classmates are a varied group - normal kids in a normal school situation - until one of the boys Ole (Ole Meyer), who is somewhat of a trouble-maker, posts magazine pictures of nude women in his dorm room. Reprimanded by the headmaster he is put on probation and when he ultimately posts the contraband pictures in the dorm restroom, he is threatened with expulsion. His classmates band together to protect him and Ole is maintained in the school.
Other sidebar stories that pepper the screen are swimming hole escapades where the injury of one of the boys calls forth the empathy of the entire class; there is a vignette where an older woman tries to teach one of the boys the beauties of physical love; there is a shower scene that finds Bo and Kim gently observing each other; and there is a class project for graduation that is supposed to be an enactment of the 10 Commandments, one episode of which is assigned to a student filmmaker.
It is this finished class project film, shown before the faculty and the parents, that is based on the commandment 'Love thy neighbor' and it is a beautifully wrought scene of Bo and Kim embracing and kissing in one of the more honest and sensitive moments on film. The 'non-story' film ends without an audience response: it simply fades away to a tune that speaks of 'You are not alone - there is someone like you ahead.' No, this is not a film about nudity or raw sex. Instead this film is a brave exploration of the normal period in growth when boys search for role models and find their first sensations of love emerging. It is delicate, beautifully filmed and acted, and is one of the early forays into same sex love that works on every level. Grady Harp, December 06
Pioneering "coming of age" film for all
Allan Brain | Houston, TX USA | 12/28/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Like so many films that have "gay" themes, this film is wrongly seen by some as a homosexual "coming of age" story. But it is not that simple. As shown very realistically in this beautiful movie, there is a lot of confusion among kids--and maybe there is more today than there was in the late '70s when this movie was made. Anyone who ever suffered from that confusion, whether arising from sexual, social, or other anxieties, will enjoy this film. It truly has a little of everything.
Is it a little too "erotic" for American sensibilities? Maybe, but those who are realistic about sexual experimentation will not have any problems with the very tastefully suggestive depictions of that. The young actors, male and female, are charming and convincing.
And there are brief adventures of the kind that typically occur in boarding schools and novels or films about them. But they are done
well and also reveal something of a "European" view of how various crises and problems in this kind of setting might be handled.
Grady Harp's review is right on target. The two protagonists, Kim and Bo, represent not necessarily gay kids, but any kids who are lonely, confused, alienated, and yearning for love and acceptance. They could be "geeks" or any other minority. And the depictions of "bullying" in schools and other settings, in a film from over twenty-five years ago, are eerily prescient.
But there are also many scenes of understanding and solidarity among the kids that are heart-warming. The final scene is really moving, especially when you understand that the whole school is behind it.
It's too bad that the DVD release does not offer many "extras", but it's a bargain.
I even like the "pop" music.
You are not alone
S. Ford | wyoming | 01/10/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The DVD version of you are not alone is an improvement on the VHS version. Better clearer subtitles, much better picture quality. The relationship that blossoms between Bo and Kim is very realistic, passionate and touching. The movie gives glimpses of the other boys relationships, such as the boy making out in the cellar with an older girl staff member and later he is seen by BO french kissing and making love in the shower with another slightly older boy, it showcases the boys bi-sexual identity.
Though most of the movie follows Kim and Bo. The shower scene with Bo and Kim is a favorite for me as is the final scene with them french kissing, I like this because I know very few American film makers would touch the subject let alone have a nude scene. It is my favorite coming of age movie or gay youth movie. Watch with an open mind and enjoy. The closing scene is very passionate, lots of kissing and hugging, just the thing to make the conservative anti gay crowd reel. I love it.
FINDING LOVE IN YOUR OWN SEX
Danilo F. Lynen | MIAMI, FLA | 08/13/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I first heard about this movie in 1980. I was in my very early twenties. Time passed, and was not able to obtain a copy and I forgot about it. Browsing through You Tube, recently I found it by chance. When I saw the preview I went to my amazon found it, and ordered it. It made me feel good to relive the feelings and emotions of my boyhood and especially the crush I had on one of my best male friends. From the start of the movie it shows how boys that age relate to one another in a pure form of honest male friendship. The shower scene is perfect and is an innocent act of male puberty. Growing up in the early 70's made me feel isolated and alone with these feelings. Why is it so wrong to feel this way for your own sex. It's not wrong. It is beautiful. I believe its part of loving yourself. Studying through history one comes to the conclusion that this ignorant way of thinking here in America, had to be instilled by ancestors of the Mayflower! Only in Europe could a film of this subject matter and, its beauty have been made. Repressing those feelings for so many years left me sad and miserable for years to come. Some of us outgrow it to eventually love a woman and, have a family and some of us don't! We as a society must come to terms with the facts that it is common in young males. This society tries to make you feel shameful and make you believe that it is morally wrong and against god, that is a crime in itself. Have people forgotten the Kinsey reports. Because of all this puritanical bull in this part of the world it gives me a bitter taste of ignorance.This film is beautiful and wonderful. Its not only sexual but also shows togetherness, friendship, and for me an important lesson in loyalty and being part of the team. Had we as boys back then been able to express ourselves with each other, we might have turned out a little better. Kinsey in his study of male sexuality found out that repressing those feelings and not being able to fulfill a desire makes you only want it more. I recommend this film to all young men out there who have felt these feelings as i did growing up! Currently at these crossroads of life it is so redeeming and rewarding to finally fine out that indeed, i was not alone!