Gay Essential Films To Watch, Wild Side

The touching and at times heartbreaking French film focuses on the closely-bridged ménage à trois between two gay men and a pre-op trans woman who used to be a sex worker on the streets of Paris. Recently learning that her mother, Liliane (Josiane Storelu), has terminal cancer, Stéphanie (Stéphanie Michellini) moves back home with her two lovers, Russian immigrant Mikhail (Edouard Nikitine) and night hustler Djamel (Yasmine Belmadi). As Stéphanie cares for her dying mother, the warmhearted relationship between the three lovers grows stronger, disclosing the raw, poignant life of the wilder fringes of society.

The plotline is interspersed with flashbacks of the main characters’ lives, which depict Stephanie, Mikhail and Djamel’s past and focuses on who they were before they entered their unconventional three-cornered relationship. Wild Side also delves into the main character’s childhood, when Stéphanie was a little boy named Pierre who liked to play dress-up, and follows her transformation as she discovers herself and her two lovers. Wild Side dabbles with the ideas of gender identity and how our past experiences shape us into who we are today, shedding light on the struggles and revelations of a portion of society that is unwarrantedly marginalized and often left unheard.

Wild Side

Critics

“Sébastien Lifshitz’s Wild Side summons a tightly-wound ménage à trios both in front and behind the camera.”
   Ed Gonzalez, Slate Magazine

“A beautifully photographed and directed unconventional love story.”
Bonjour Tristesse

“Whether the camera is trained on the human body, the architecture of Paris, the fields of northern France or dancers gyrating in a disco, the movie gives you the feeling of rediscovering the world, moment by moment, in a revelatory waking dream.”
Stephen Holder, The New York Times

Did You Know?

The lead actress, Stéphanie Michelli, is in fact a real-life Trans Woman who has never performed prior to this film. Wild Side actually borrowed its title from Lou Reed’s popular song, Walk on the wild side. Review our Gay Themed Films Here

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Alexander Ryll
Launched in June 2014, Gay Essential is the world’s largest gay themed film blog promoting new and rare features. I am helped by some amazing writers and we also cover film festivals in the UK and USA. We are 100% independent, without advertising or funding by film distributors. Help to keep Gay Essential independent by purchasing our merchandise GET (Gay Essential Tees)
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