From Finland, this engaging gay drama is shot in a sun-drenched, earthy style that makes the most of filmmaker Nils-Erik Ekblom’s obviously low budget. After getting in trouble for throwing a wild party at home, 17-year-old Miku (Mikko Kauppila) is punished by being forced to spend the summer with his parents at their lakeside country home. Things perk up when he spots neighbour Elias (Valtteri Lehinen), who invites him out for a beer. And as the attraction between them blossoms into a full-on romance, both understand that it can only last as long as the summer.
The main angle here is Miku’s coming to terms with his own sexuality and admitting it to his family, which allows for quite a bit of clever comedy and drama along the way. Meanwhile, his connection with Elias is properly sexy, and very nicely played by both young actors. The film is shot and edited without any flourishes, which lets the characters come to life with quite a few engaging quirks. And this also keeps the themes swirling around in the background where they belong, exploring issues like bullying and self-image in ways that feel natural and very honest.
Screwed is out now on DVD/VOD.