Drama/Sci-Fi | 18mins | English (UK) | 2015
Written & Directed by: Lloyd Eyre-Morgan
Starring: Tommy Lawrence-Knight, Ceallach Spellman, Julie Hesmondhalgh, Jason Done & Janet Bamford
Whilst hiding in his wardrobe, Henry, a teenager struggling with his sexuality in 1986, time travels to present day where he meets a Ben, a similar teenager, occupying the same room 30 years later.
Why you should watch it:
- To recognise how far we’ve come yet how far we’ve got to go
- For the dialogue
- For the performances
A little more insight…
I didn’t know what to expect from Closets, after all it’s title appears generic in light of the subject matter, however I was positively moved by the end.
That’s not to say that I wasn’t hooked early on – I love 80’s music and I definitely got a Eurythmics vibe from the soundtrack. I was happily enjoying watching a young man dancing around to music I thoroughly love only to then be dragged down to the reality of society in the 1980’s by a homophobic mother. Having come out in the early 00’s and to a supportive family, this was not the experience I had but it is one that I am aware of so I immediately felt for Henry.
Seeing Henry literally go into the closet, which could’ve been too cliche, actually hit me. I felt for him and then when he took the broken record to his wrist I nearly lost it but then something happens. Somehow he is transported to 2016, 30 years into the future – which makes me feel really old because the 90’s still felt like yesterday to me!
In transporting Henry to the present, where he meets Ben, the disparities and similarities between the decades are clear to see and that’s what is powerful about this film. Yes, it leads to some funny fish out of water lines about writing on walls and such, but alongside that are serious issues such as AIDs/HIV and what’s great is that it’s not force-fed.
Yes, the youth of today in some respects has a much easier time coming out and having social acceptance, especially from family (as shown by the vastly different mother characters) but in a way the fear and risk has shifted due to the emergence of the internet and technology. Cyberbullying is almost inescapable. It is something that needs to be addressed regardless of sexuality. It is something highlighted in one of the final lines: “There’s no hiding these days”, which I take as both a positive and negative.
Yes, privacy has been eroded by the emergence of Facebook and the likes, but there is greater acceptance and more platforms than ever to express who you truly are. The internet can be a source of pain but it can also be a voice and a place to connect. Young people shouldn’t be afraid to be who they are, just like those who have gone before them to become the icons of today.
The fact that this film has made me think about these issues is testament to its quality.
It also made me shed a couple of tears. The ending… just beautiful.
Things that bugged me:
- Ben’s mothers acceptance of a strange older man in her young son’s room… it’s hard to explain without serious spoilers, but you’ll understand