Jeanne Lapoirie’s surveillance-style camera, looking from above, masterfully follows the men who loiter around the Gare du Nord train station in Paris as they scrape by however they can, forming gangs for support and protection, ever fearful of being caught by the police and deported. When the middle-aged, bourgeois Daniel (Olivier Rabourdin) approaches a boyishly handsome Ukrainian who calls himself Marek for a date, he learns the young man is willing to do anything for some cash. What Daniel intends only as sex-for-hire begets a home invasion and then an unexpectedly profound relationship. The drastically different circumstances of the two men’s lives reveal hidden facets of the city they share. Presented in four parts, this absorbing, continually surprising film by Robin Campillo (BPM: Beats Per Minute) is centered around relationships that defy easy categorization, in which motivations and desires are poorly understood even by those to whom they belong.
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