‘Brothers of the Night’

An intimate, revealing documentary as young male Bulgarian Roma congregate in Vienna to work. Some send money home to their wives, others look to save money to pay a dowry. But the work is not what they expected.

Director Patric Chiha (Si c’était de l’amour, Domaine) is given extraordinary access to (mainly) macho men not much older than boys working as sex workers, selling their bodies to wealthy clients. Heavily stylised (reminiscent of Fassbinder’s Querelle), Brothers of the Night is more passing performance of a drama than documentary. Ambiguous friendships, detailed (scripted?) conversations, romanticised perspective with little of the threat and danger part and parcel of such a lifestyle, Chiha avoids commentary or judgement. He presents ‘as is’. And whilst the boundaries between fact and fiction may be blurred, Brothers of the Night is a quiet, insightful look into a supportive community of migrants looking to survive.

Rating: 66%

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