The Dutch Boys is released on May 21st on Amazon and Vimeo. For more information, visit NQV Media.
Themes of masculinity, community, belonging and desire find a sublime fresh voice in NQV’s latest short film collection, The Dutch Boys. Not since The Italian Boys have we seen a compilation this compelling from the NQV team. Each film’s sheer artistry and impact ensure The Dutch Boys is both unforgettable and essential viewing. Here, we travel through themes of fear, religious control, community entrapment and artistic freedom—each outstanding short film weaving together to create a rich, complex and stunning tapestry of stories. The result is a beautiful and enriching journey into masculinity, sexuality, socialisation, passion and defiance.
The Dutch Boys opens with Brick, directed by Viktor van der Valk. Here, we meet a brick production worker named Jeffrey; his life, security and emotional certainty suddenly challenged by a new mysterious staff member. This is followed by South of Heaven, directed by Marco van Bergen, a stunning dissection of religion and family pressure as we meet Elias during a birthday trip back home. His personality split between a college life of acceptance and freedom with a new boyfriend, Jasper, and a home life built on religion, secrecy and silence. However, as both worlds collide, Elias must finally choose a path. But will his mother and brother allow this choice without religious intervention?
Next up is Lukas by the Sea, directed by Jordi Wijnalda, with a stunning exploration of human desire, sexuality and connection. Here, twentysomething Lukas explores his innermost thoughts, desires and fears through the course of a single night. But will any of his sexual adventures and attempted connections result in a sense of belonging? And can Lukas find what he is looking for before the sun rises?
Finally, we have two tender, beautiful, arresting explorations of coming of age, coming out and young love, directed by Marc Wagenaar. The first of these is Dante vs Mohammed Ali. Set in an undisclosed village during an unspecified time, we meet young Wolf and his best friend, Alexander. Both boys are the subject of a boxing match arranged by the village elders, the older men placing bets on which boy will come out on top as they fight on a river barge. However, there is one problem, Wolf is artistic, gentle and madly in love with Alexander. While Alexander is protective of Wolf, hiding his real feelings in fear of the outcome were they to be set free. However, as their first boxing match fails and a second draws near, Wolf plans to express his love for Alexander with an elaborate theatrical performance the night before their match.
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Dante vs Mohammed is a stunning exploration of community control, hidden desire and individual confidence as two young men set each other free. And freedom of expression, passion and young love also find a distinct and delicate voice in Wagenaar’s second short film, the final one in this stunning collection, Beautiful Alexander. Here, we meet Alexander as he sits shut away in a beach hut on a hot summer’s day. Alexander stares at a young man on a diving board from the cabin’s tiny window, the boy’s body reflecting the sun’s rays as he dances. And as Alexander’s desire grows, he too finds himself dancing, longing for connection. But can Alexander find the courage to step from the hut and climb the diving board?
The Dutch Boys again highlights the power of short films in exploring sexuality, masculinity, desire and belonging. Each film is a beautiful reflection of the modern male experience. And while some collections from NQV have housed one or two weaker films, The Dutch Boys is stunning from its opening film to its last, making it an essential addition to your gay short film collection.