“ON THE FRINGE OF WILD”
Set in the early 2000s, “On the Fringe of Wild” is the story of two young men who fall in love. Peter (Harrison Browne) is a sensitive and shy teen who has dreams of leaving his small Ontario town to become an artist, but his homophobic father (Andrew Bee) is determined to “make him a man” instead. During winter break, his father forces him to go on a hunting trip which becomes very tense and cause Peter to run away. Lost, cold and near his breaking point, Peter meets Jack (Cameron Stewart) also wants to escape his family situation. A romance quickly develops between the two teens. They hide away in a secluded cabin and find each other and themselves. However, the world outside eventually pulls them back and they must face the very circumstances that causes them to run away.
Peter and Jack wrestle with their sexuality, mental health, and the toxic family dynamics that threaten to drive them apart. While love does not win, they grow to accept themselves as members of the LGBTQ+ community.
Written by Sorelle Doucet, the film opens with a scene of high school bullying of Peter who is dealing with a terrible home situation. He is intimidated by his parents. His mother, however, tries unsuccessfully to talk sense into her homophobic husband but he is one who yells a lot. He thinks he can “toughen up” his son by roughing it out in the woods and hunting. In another home, Jack is tormented by his drinker of a dad. The high school bully, another character has his own sexuality issues, sadistic inclinations and a miserable mother.
When Peter and Jack manage to escape from their dads and meet each other in the woods, they warm up to each other. A cabin becomes the place where they spend some time together.
Director Emma Catalfamo’s film is both inspiring and uncomfortable to watch but it is also important for us to once again see the intolerance that exists in the world.