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Vol. 12, No. 1, 2013
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Robert J. Lewis
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  Bowling for Columbine
Shanghai Ghetto
Talk to Her
City of God
Magdalene Sisters
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Barbarian Invasions
Fog of War
Blind Shaft
The Corporation
Station Agent
The Agronomist
Maria Full of Grace
Man Without a Past
In This World
Buffalo Boy
Shake Hands with the Devil
Born into Brothels
The Edukators
Big Sugar
A Long Walk
An Inconvenient Truth
Sisters In Law
Send a Bullet
Banking on Heaven
Chinese Botanist's Daugher
Ben X
La Zona
The Legacy
Irina Palm
4 Months, 3 Weeks, 2 Days
Poor Boys Game
Finn's Girl
Leaving the Fold
The Mourning Forest
Beneath the Rooftops of Paris
Before Tomorrow
Paraiso Travel
Necessities of Life
For a Moment of Freedom
Blood River
By the Will of Genghis Kahn
The Concert
Weaving Girl
Into Eternity
When We Leave
Le Havre
Presumed Guilty
A Separation
Take This Waltz

David Lambert's

David Lambert

reviewed by


Beyond the Walls (Hors les murs) played at Montreal's 2012 Image + Nation film festival. For ratings and reviews, click HERE.

Imagination + Nation, now in its 25th year, screened over a 100 films in this year’s 2012 edition, including such riveting documentaries as Call me Kuchu, Emergency Exit and Lesbomundo, as well as a gamut of gay topical films that effectively and artistically subvert the stereotypic collective consciousness most of the population holds on homosexuality.

One totally compelling film that depicted gay love inexorably glued to life's gritty realities was Beyond the Walls (Hors les Murs) directed by David Lambert."

After seeing the film, I spoke to a gay couple who candidly explained that the tortuous love affair revealed in the film and the situation that imploded from it was completely credible, but that it was outside their own personal experience as a gay couple. Both young men told me that in various pockets of gay communities, all kinds of obsessive and unhealthy experiences happen. Gays are driven by the same yearnings as heterosexuals: the need to connect, feel loved and exult in joy. Indeed, as this film shows, gay love is not solely a sexual beast. Its animus can be found in the need to survive, the quest for stability and the desire to 'fit in' without fear of ostracism. This movie touches upon these aspects of the gay culture, as well as highly profound emotions that affect gay love. Above all, it tells a story of two men brought together by sheer happenstance and circumstances that both solidify and sunder apart their budding love. Sound familiar? Though we wish for a different ending in the film, it is one of the most powerful to stride across the screen in this festival -- North America's largest and one that attracts an exciting mix of really interesting people striving to make this world a far more just one.

Paulo falls madly in love with Ilir, a bartender at a small club who also plays guitar. Paulo had gotten drunk, and Ilir, who didn't know the young blond-haired man, takes him to his home to ensure he will be ok. Paulo seems schooled in the ways of gay sex, and he is quite taken by Ilir who comes from Albania. Ilir, however, is reluctant to get involved with his new human puppy who offers himself up so easily. But they laugh so much, and are good for one another they eventually embrace. In fact, Ilir did not have much choice to take it slow, since shortly after meeting Paulo, this blond beauty's girlfriend kicked him out of her apartment when she realized he has no interest in her at all. Paulo has no place to go, so he heads for Ilir 's apartment. Ilir really does not want to live with him, but he accepts. What follows is a tortuous series of events.

Ilir leaves on a trip; Paulo eagerly awaits his return, but he never shows up. Finally, he gets a letter form his lost lover. It reveals Ilir is in prison for bringing drugs across the border. Paulo is beside himself. But he is a great and loyal boyfriend. Ilir 's slow descent includes rejecting Paulo's' obsessive visits. He feels seeing him makes him weak, which does not help him survive in prison. He forbids further visits. Paulo takes up with the owner of a sex shop owner who takes good care of him though their sex involves Paulo being subjected to some painful moments (S & M). Paulo seems to be a parasite. But he certainly has a heart of gold. One day, Paulo receives a call from Ilir requesting him to visit him once more in the prison -- though it's been months since he hadn't returned to see his ex-lover. He wants Paulo to smuggle in cocaine. Paulo is still in love with him, so he consents. Ilir swallows the tiny plastic pieces in which the cocaine is wrapped. Illir who now has skin cancer has changed. No longer is he virile and happy; he is poor and sick. Finally, Ilir gets out of prison and visits Paulo at the shop where they used to hang out -- the one owned by Paulo's present lover. Everything that Ilir once knew has changed, too. Paulo has become a rich dandy and his stunning boyish innocence has been replaced with studied coldness. His new lover has taken good care of him. Still, Paulo books a room for them in a swanky hotel, but is unable to be with Ilir. He has made his choice. The reversal of roles and fortune is most striking.

This is films is about a gut-wrenching love story between two men who fall in love, but bad luck and wrong decisions have sealed each of their fates. They will not be together again. In the end, both cry -- Paulo is walking down the street from the hotel; Ilir is standing on the balcony of the hotel room watching his ex-lover on the street below. Tears and regret are all that is left for Ilir, and perhaps for Paulo as well.

Beyond the Walls offers great acting. Matila Malliarakis put in a profound performance as Paulo. Guillaume Goulx as Ilir expressed the turbulent push and pull of love's emotional angst while portraying a smiling character ready for a joke that masks secrets and sadness. What a great movie!


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Film Ratings at Arts & Opinion - Montreal
2012 Festival Nouveau Cinema de Montreal, Oct. 10-21st, (514) 844-2172
CINEMANIA (Montreal) - festival de films francophone 4-14th novembre, Cinema Imperial info@514-878-0082
Montreal World Film Festival
Listing + Ratings of films from festivals, art houses, indie
2012 Montreal International Documentary Festival Nov. 7th - 18th
Lynda Renée: Chroniques Québécois - Blog
CD Dignity by John Lavery available by e-mail: - 10$ + 3$ shipping.
2008 FANTASIA FILM FESTIVAL (Montreal) North America's Premier Genre Festival July 3-21
Festivalissimo Film Festival - Montreal: May 27th - June 13th
Montreal Jazz Festival
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Canadian Tire Repair Scam [2211 boul Roland-Therrien, Longueuil] = documents-proofs
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