09 20 Oct '24
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Lukas Dhont


105' - 2022 - Drama - Dialogue: Dutch, French
Director: Lukas Dhont Composer: Valentin Hadjadj With: Eden Dambrine, Gustav De Waele, Emilie Dequenne, Léa Drucker, Kevin Janssens
Lukas Dhont's sophomore feature (after Girl) is a sensitive and empathic look at a friendship between two thirteen-year-old boys. Fragile, deeply moving Belgian cinema that was awarded the Grand Prix in Cannes.
Belgian cinema at its most fragile. And at its very best.
During what seems like an eternal summer, two thirteen-year-old boys enjoy their free time and each other. They go to war against imaginary enemies, they run through the idyllic and colourful flower fields nearby, they sleep together; sometimes their bodies entangle. Leo and Remi have been inseparable since forever. Their friendship is joyful, tactile, innocent and above all unbreakable. Is it more than friendship? The glances Leo casts at Remi when he plays the oboe suggest as much. Lukas Dhont's long-awaited and already much-praised follow-up to Girl is an affectionate, lyrical portrait of a tender friendship that will remind every adult of a time when summers were filled with freedom, and when romps and sleepovers made up the bulk of the summer vacation. But every idyll comes to a close. Back at school, the two get the inevitable question: "Are you two together? Are you a couple?" The queer stigma suddenly arises, and thus Leo distances himself from Remi to indulge in a macho sport like ice hockey and in conversations with more virile boys about their favourite football players. Until a disruption pulls Leo and Remi entirely apart.
Back in May, Lukas Dhont, still only 31 years of age, competed for the Palme d'Or in Cannes. It proved to be a historic edition of the Cannes film festival for Belgium, with the Grand Prix for Dhont as the ultimate highlight. During the first screenings, the sobbing exceeded the applause. It's proof that the filmmaker from Ghent again delivers intimate, sensitive cinema with a lot of empathy, never judging or condemning his characters. Close also benefits from the exceptional talent of its young newcomers Eden Dambrine and Gustav De Waele who, in their own way, shape heartbreak in the innocent life of a teenager. Emilie Dequenne, who made her debut in Rosetta by the Dardenne brothers (a source of inspiration for Dhont), plays Remi's mother. Her bond with Leo is so natural and yet so unique in cinema. D.o.P. Frank van den Eeden's graceful cinematography is an enchanting feat. And Valentin Hadjadj's score is incredibly moving, just like each and every ingredient of Dhont's equally personal and universal film. Close is Belgian cinema at its most fragile. And at its very best.
"The disintegration of a friendship between two boys on the cusp of adolescence in rural Belgium triggers a tragedy, in the quietly devastating sophomore picture by Lukas Dhont. The combination of knock out performances, in particular from newcomer Eden Dambrine as Leo, and direction of uncommon sensitivity from Dhont makes for a picture which is intimate in scope but which packs a considerable emotional wallop. (...) Dhont elegantly uses the quotidian routines of a child's school and after school routine to show how nothing and everything can change all at once; how finding the words to speak can be the hardest part of coping with feelings for many young boys." - Screen Daily

Image gallery

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Lukas Dhont


Valentin Hadjadj


Eden Dambrine, Gustav De Waele, Emilie Dequenne, Léa Drucker, Kevin Janssens


Lukas Dhont, Angelo Tijssens

Director of Photography

Frank van den Eeden


Alain Dessauvage


Michiel Dhont, Dirk Impens

Production studios

Menuet BVBA


Lumiere Publishing NV

More information


Dutch, French

Countries of production

Belgium, The Netherlands, France




Lukas Dhont

Headlong (short, 2012), Skin of Glass (short, 2012), L'infini (short, 2014), Girl (2018), Our Nature (short, 2021), Close (2021)

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