Modern Love Short Slot
Sat Feb 29, 2020 – 2:30 pm | Hendricks Arts Center
Directed by Wilhelm Kuhn
United Kingdom| 20 min | 2018
Burgundy, France, end of 1945. Uncle Jules has prepared a very traditional gift for his nephew Louis on the day of his 15th birthday. Eager on turning this little bugger into a real man, he takes him to his favorite brothel. Through the evening’s bittersweet encounters, Louis discovers the adult world in all its cruelty.
“The Nephew” is a film about the complexity and the cruelty of the adult world. As we grow up we are irremediably pulled out of our innocence through different rites of passage. I wanted to tell the story of a one night encounter that is grounded in its time, but still resonates with the reality of present days: the need to constantly re-assert the domination of manhood, the full-fledged reign of phallocracy in a profoundly hierarchical society. As we discover the character of Céline – the prostitute who has been “booked” for him – the film opens a new perspective to underline the fate of those at the bottom, whose hopes and dreams have long been crushed by structural injustices, that we too often take for granted.
Wilhelm is a French filmmaker who was born and raised in Paris. He graduated in politics and economics from the prestigious Lille Institute of Political Studies before studying filmmaking for 3 years at the London Film School. While still a student, Wilhelm worked in the post-production team of the feature film “Taken 2” (dir: Olivier Megaton, 2012) as well as for French public service broadcaster France Televisions. His second short film, “Le Neveu”, tells the story of a young boy taken to a brothel to lose his virginity, at a time when prostitution was still legal in France. The film is thereby set in the aftermath of WWII to address the topics of misogyny and patriarchy, and how they are enforced through traditional rites of passage.