“CONSEQUENCES”— A Gay Film from Slovenia

“CONSEQUENCES” A Gay Film from Slovenia Amos Lassen “Consequences” (“Posledice”) is the first gay-themed film ever produced in Slovenia but this is not because of any anti-LGBT politics affecting Slovenian society. Gay people in the country are afforded the same rights as the average European country, with the only exception being same-sex marriage, which is yet to be legalized despite widespread support both from the population and the country’s parliament. The threats of violence aren’t as strong as they are in other countries. “Consequence” is the first feature film by director Darko Stante who has found a new angle on a familiar staple of LGBT storytelling of putting the protagonist into a world of hyper-masculinity. We see no overt homophobia and even name calling is embedded with a weird homoeroticism and this shows us that the characters are comfortable with their sexuality. the (presumably) straight characters appear to be. The tension comes from Andrej (Matej Zemljic) realizing an inner sensitivity at the precise moment he falls in with a crowd who don’t have a sensitive bone in their bodies.
Eighteen-year-old Andrej  is sent to a youth detention center because of concerns by his parents and the courts following a string of delinquent crimes, which culminated with his frustrated attack of a woman with whom he could not maintain an erection. he couldn’t get erect to have sex with. When he arrives at the center, he immediately becomes the rival of another aggressive resident, Zeljko (Timon Sturbej), who tries to find conflict with anybody in his vicinity over foolish and trivial situations. After he sees Andrej at the gym with his superior strength, he enlists him to join his gang, leading him on elaborate schemes to take money from those who have owed him in the past. After a violent theft, Zeljko realizes that Andrej is gay and this causes further confusion for Andrej. Now he has to hide his sexuality and  also work out whether it’s being used as a blackmail tool to keep him involved for increasingly criminal schemes.
The unique character dynamics within the drama make this more surprising than the average coming out story. The appearance of hyper masculinity is altogether more complex than being a story about a young man discovering his sexuality in a defiantly heterosexual locale. His peers approach homosexuality as an odd curio and use it as an insult while taking part in graphic homoerotic displays.
Zeljko’s sexuality remains somewhat ambiguous  and it is never clear as to whether he’s showing genuine affection after hearing Andrej’s secret, or using it as a tool in his arsenal to get him to do his dirty work. The film is a character study of two men with the capability to be sensitive and emotionally intuitive who live lives of violence instead.The film takes the expected narrative you’d expect from a story of a man coming out in this environment and creates something more unexpected, more confrontational, and altogether more exceptional.
These young, relatively inexperienced actors are convincing as thugs. Andrej is ‘comfortable’ with his sexuality, it’s what got him into trouble in the first place. Director Stante stretches his characters to breaking point, they all break in different ways. Matej Zemljic is remarkable as  Andrej and we feel for him even with the stupid decisions that he makes because we know that there’s a good kid inside who really wants to get out but doesn’t stand a chance.
This is not an easy film to watch especially since, in many cases today, an accusation becomes an automatic indictment. The film looks at responsibility and attacks parental responsibility.

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