Review: ‘A Love to Hide’

Like numerous recent French telepics, "A Love to Hide" offers gay-themed drama more compelling and better-produced than a lot of what's shown up on international bigscreens and at gay fests of late. Occasionally over-rigged in script and direction, the meller, from helmer Christiane Faure, nonetheless provides a stirring tale of gay male lovers in the Nazi era. Polished effort is a natural for DVD sale in offshore niche markets, with theatrical export a lesser possibility.

Like numerous recent French telepics, “A Love to Hide” offers gay-themed drama more compelling and better-produced than a lot of what’s shown up on international bigscreens and at gay fests of late. Occasionally over-rigged in script and direction, the meller, from helmer Christiane Faure, nonetheless provides a stirring tale of gay male lovers in the Nazi era. Polished effort is a natural for DVD sale in offshore niche markets, with theatrical export a lesser possibility.

Betrayed by a smuggler who lets her parents and sister die before they can escape to England, young Sara (Louise Monot) flees in terror to Vichy-occupied Paris. Jean (Jeremie Renier), a summer-vacation pal since childhood, passes the Jewish girl off as a Gallic employee at his family’s laundry. In secret, Jean is romantically committed to Philippe (Bruno Todeschini). But stupid decisions made by bad-seed — if later semi-redeemed — brother Jacques (Nicolas Gob) get Jean sent to a labor camp. Subsequent horrors are piled on a tad melodramatically, but polished perfs and package keep the twisty, eventually decades-spanning tale engrossing.

A Love to Hide

France

Production

A Merlin production in association with France 2. Produced by Francois Aramburu, Pascal Fontanille, Laetitia Bartoli. Executive producer, Patrick Sandrin. Directed by Christian Faure. Screenplay, Pascale Fontanille, Samantha Mazeras.

Crew

Camera (color, DV), Svetla Ganeva; editor, Jean-Daniel Fernandez-Qundez; music, Charles Court; production designers, Rossitsa Bakeva, Sebastian Birchler. Reviewed on DVD, San Francisco, June 24, 2006. (In San Francisco Lesbian & Gay Film Festival.) Original French title: Un amour a taire. Running time: 103 MIN.

With

Louise Monot, Jeremie Renier, Nicolas Gob, Bruno Todeschini, Charlotte de Turckheim, Michel Jonasz, Anne Girouard, Olivier Saladin.
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