A young Strasbourg hustler is content to transgress many social norms--though he never stops seeking tenderness and affection--in this graphic and provocative, moody, and intimate character study.
"Raw, uncompromising and yet strangely romantic."—The Hollywood Reporter
Held by an impressive and entrancing performance by Felix Maritaud, his yearning eyes will draw you fully into a story filled with the complexities, tenderness, passions, and intense sex experienced by these French male prostitutes. It's a remarkable film in that it at no point does it feel judgmental or excessive, but simply serves as a frame for the nuanced interactions of men in search of connection. From the first scene at a doctor's office, propelled by probing questions leading to more than a check-up, driving tension and curiosity are abundant in Sauvage/Wild. Director Camille Vidal-Naquet masterfully focuses a compassionate lens on the life of a young street hustler named Leo. Maritaud gives such a powerfully vulnerable yet heartbreaking performance that it's easy to feel concern for Leo's well-being, and it's incredibly painful when he allows himself to be abused or when his heart is pained by unrequited love. Given the subject matter, it would be easy to essentialize and exploit the lifestyle depicted, but given the incredible acting, the superb camera work by director of photography Jacques Girault, and Vidal-Naquet's illuminating direction, the film is poignant and authentic-feeling without being cliched or intrusive.
Camille Vidal-Naquet's screenplay for Sauvage, his debut feature, is based on three years of interviews with street hustlers like the one portrayed in his film; he has said his goal was to convey "how lively, dazzling, and violent this world is" and "the frailty of the main character."
Sponsored by The Stranger
- Director: Camille Vidal-Naquet
- Principal Cast: Felix Maritaud, Eric Bernard, Nicolas Dibla, Philippe Ohrel
- Country: France
- Year: 2018
- Running Time: 99 minutes
- Producer: Emmanuel Giraud, Marie Sonne-Jensen
- Screenplay: Camille Vidal-Naquet
- Cinematographers: Jacques Girault
- Editors: Elif Uluengin
- Music: Romain Trouillet
- Website: Official Film Website
- Filmography: Debut Feature Film
- Language: French
- Has Subtitles: Yes
- Format: DCP
- US Distributor: Strand Releasing