In This Special Friendship (Les amitiés particulières), Georges (Francis Lacombrade), 16, is in a relationship with his peer, Lucien (François Leccia), 15. One day, however, he takes notice of the young Alexandre (Didier Haudepin), a tender 12, and he is immediately besotted with Alexandre’s boyish charm and untouched innocence.
Georges leaves Lucien with the mission of pursuing Alexandre. Their companionship grows into one of covert messages, secret love letters, and private confidences. The perfection of their rendezvous is, alas, threatened by authority figures; namely, by a suspicious priest, who glimpses the boys cavorting around the school and who Georges fears will out the pair of them.
Georges then schemes to get the priest dismissed from his post by inventing a scandal. His plan is a success. The boys are thereafter relatively sheltered to conduct themselves as lovers, but after the fiasco with the priest, they are faced with the societal reality of not only the school but the greater context which dictates its homophobia. Their love is then tinged with a more sinister anxiety of discovery.
“Les Amitiés particulières is one of the few films that gets anywhere near to portraying gay love with much the same poetry and believability as the great male-female love stories in cinema.”
“The film will be as relevant in today’s time as it was probably when it released.”
— Gay Themed Movie Reviews
Did You Know?
The Abbey, where This Special Friendship was filmed some distance north of Paris, France, acts as the perpetual backdrop of the hallowed halls of a religious boarding school, wherein moral and spiritual conformity are enforced by clergy members, wherein deviance from the norm is met with according capital punishment.
Roger Peyrefitte’s oeuvre is a reflection of his personal romantic history, often with prominent men of high society. His straightforward work outed the sexuality of many of the French hoi polloi. This Special Friendship (Les amitiés particulières) was inevitably met by divisive commentary from critics, but it remains a pivotal part of his body of work. Review our Gay Themed Films Here