JUST FRIENDS (Gewoon vrienden)
Ellen Smit; 2018; Netherlands; 81 min.; in Dutch with English subtitles; Northwest Premiere
Yad (Majd Mardo), a Syrian medical student, leaves behind his life in Amsterdam to move back with his family in a small Dutch town. He settles for a temporary homecare job looking after an ebullient elderly woman, Ans (Jenny Arean), who slyly introduces him to her hunky grandson Joris (Josha Stradowski). The two click and escape their family drama with romantic romps, but issues with their overbearing mothers start to test their connection and cultural differences. As pressure builds, Joris and Yad must decide if what they have is worth defying family expectations. Winner of the Audience Award for Best Narrative at the 2018 Milan International Lesbian & Gay Film Festival.
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Content Warning: Implied Sexual Situations