Monday, May 13th, 2024

Queerguru’s Ris Fatah reviews HEART OF THE MAN ” life-affirming to see good quality First Nation queer stories being told”


Back to Australia with another coming-of-age queer drama. Heart of the Man explores the life of Queensland-based 18-year-old amateur boxer Chris Wundurra (Parker Little). Under the very watchful eye of the previously successful ex-boxer, ‘The Wonder Man’ now turned coach, father Sammy (David Cook), Chris is religiously training for his first proper fight. The problem is that he is only boxing to please his father, rather than himself. The training is tough, and father and son are close, especially so since the death of Chris’s mother in a driving accident. Chris begins to develop anger issues as he’s secretly gay, and not living his truest life. Sammy is also dealing with his own demons. Chris then meets Jamie (Tyrel Dulvarie), another sexy gay man, in the boxing club’s locker room and develops a romantic relationship with him. He also joins a local queer theatre group. How can he reconcile his two separate lives?

Directed, written and produced by David Cook, as well as co-starring him, Heart of the Man is a powerful, heartfelt observation of life, based on Cook’s own experiences. Cook is of First Nation origin and it’s refreshing to have a queer film with such a diverse cast of different ethnicities. Both Cook and Little shine as father and son and are complemented by a great supporting cast which includes Roxanne McDonald as Chris’s thoughtful, wisdom-sharing grandmother, Sean Dow as a bisexual local coffee shop owner friend of Chris’s, and Matt Young as Joey, the gay owner of the local queer Rainbow Theatre. The relatively gentle queer world Chris enters contrasts sharply with the violent, macho, gangster infiltrated, hetero world of boxing. The plot is sharp and unpredictable, with interesting sub-plots, although the script is a little basic in parts and leaves little to the imagination. Nevertheless, anyone who grew up in a controlling family environment, and/or who struggled to live their truest life, will be able to enjoy and relate to this film. An excellent score by Ronnie Minder adds to the mix. Representation matters and it’s life-affirming to see good quality First Nation queer stories being told.


Queerguru’s Contributing Editor Ris Fatah is a successful fashion/luxury business consultant  (when he can be bothered) who divides and wastes his time between London and Ibiza. He is a lover of all things queer, feminist, and human rights in general. @ris.fatah

Posted by queerguru  at  16:51


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