Saturday, June 18, 2005

Summer Storm / Sommersturm

Sommersturm (Summer Storm) is the story of a high-school-level championship rowing team from Bavaria going to compete for the national trophy. To their surprise, their competition includes Queerstroke, a gay team from Berlin. Meanwhile, one of the Bavarian boys has dreams of something more than friendship with one of his teammates.

Sommersturm captures the confusion and the flood of hormones that are adolescence. It will resonate strongly with gay audience members, but also speaks to a much broader audience — even straight male high school students. For example, what makes you think that you can tell if someone else is gay or not? Some of the Queerstroke team are stereotypically nelly, but some of them aren't. Also, a girl who is interested in a boy that the audience knows to be gay, assumes that something is wrong with her, that she is somehow not attractive enough, while the straight boy's girlfriend shares similar insecurities.

Warner Bros. picked up this film for international distribution in over a dozen countries. However, I can probably count on the fingers of one elbow all the subtitled films that have been major U.S. box-office successes. Still, Regent Releasing has picked up Summer Storm for U.S. distribution, so look for it at an "art-house" cinema near you in September or October. I wouldn't be surprised to see it also on cable channels such as the Sundance Channel, Showtime, or IFC; keep an eye out just in case.

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