Now nearly 10 years old (it was initially made for French TV in 2002), Close To Leo makes a welcome return to DVD. It’s one of the best movies ever made about HIV/AIDS, largely because it treats it as just one aspect of the characters’ lives, and is actually more interested in the issues the disease raises as people attempt to carry after the diagnosis, rather than being overly angsty about the infection itself – although with enough angst that it doesn’t feel flippant.
Told through the eyes of Marcel, who’s on the cusp or puberty, the film follows a family in Brittany after they discover the eldest son, Leo, is HIV+. Marcel isn’t supposed to know this, but he picks up enough to realise what’s going on, even if he can’t accept that he’s being left out of important family development. While Marcel initially reacts by rebelling, he eventually goes off on a trip to Paris with Leo, where the two attempt to bond. [Read more…]