Contemporary World Cinema | 2018 | 119 minutes
SIFF Says:Living in the shadow of a devastating nightclub attack and its ongoing legal aftermath, emotionally withdrawn Pedro (newcomer Shico Menegat) finds connection to the outside world as “Neon Boy,” an online erotic performer whose neon paint-slathered blacklight dances have won him a legion of adoring fans. But when his older sister Luiza (Guega Peixoto) leaves him alone in their Porto Alegre apartment in order to take a job in another city, and Pedro discovers “Boy25” has stolen his trademark performing techniques, the shy twentysomething must venture far outside his comfort zone in order to defend his space as a performer. He soon discovers a shared connection with the outgoing and ambitious Leo (Bruno Fernandes) and an unexpected tenderness in the heart of an unforgiving city. In this Berlinale Teddy- and CICAE award-winning film, co-directors Filipe Matzembacher and Marco Reolon perfectly portray the loneliness of diversity and the suffocation of a dehumanizing landscape, combining urban thriller elements with a love story that slowly and sweetly reveals itself and never leaning too far into the morbidity that often needlessly accompanies sex worker narratives.
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