In Teenage Kicks, Mik (Miles Szanto) is about to turn 18 and is excited at the prospect of leaving Sydney behind after the summer to head North with his best friend Dan (Daniel Webber). Mik belongs to a family of Hungarian immigrants in Australia and has always felt out of place, being considered the black sheep of the family and living in the shadow of his older brother Toni. When an unexpected and tragic accident in which he is inadvertently involved results in Toni’s premature death, Mik’s life is shaken up to the core.
Feeling responsible for the tragedy, the guilt-ridden boy winds up lost and disoriented and even more out of place back at home where his strict father bitterly claims that the “wrong” son has died. In such a delicate moment Mik would need his best friend by his side but Dan has just met a girl and his mind is elsewhere. However, Dan’s distraction transcends the status of friendship’s betrayal. Right before his brother’s death, Mik had in fact started to question his burgeoning sexuality and the true nature of his feelings for Dan, adding more distress to his already tormented soul. Whilst trying to make amends and search for meaning, Mik winds up making some questionable choices, yet one way or another he’s bound to grow up and find his true self.
“A compelling new voice in queer Australian cinema.”
— The Guardian
“It’s a whirlwind of grief, guilt and grappling with his sexuality.”
— Screen Daily
Did You Know?
Whilst doing research for the script of Teenage Kicks, Aussie filmmaker Craig Boreham learned an anecdote about a New York City cop recounting his experience with people affected by post-traumatic stress disorder. Apparently, those actually responsible for an accident or a violent crime were more likely to fully recover from the trauma since they could make sense of it and see how to prevent it from happening again. On the other hand, people who had accidentally become involved in such events whilst trying to do the right thing were prone to self-torment, being unable to reconcile with the arbitrary and uncontrollable nature of the world. Boreham was fascinated by this theme of grief-stricken sense of guilt when technically being not quite guilty and by exploring Mik’s desperate need to be forgiven and feel worthy of being loved, he saw a more dramatic and compelling story than a clear case of guilt. Review our Gay Themed Films Here
Read our interview with Craig Boreham