DVD Review: Sasha

ATV Today reviews the German gay romance film Sasha which stars Sascha Kekez and Tim Bergmann.

Sasha tells the story of young musician Sasha (Sascha Kekez) who is a Yugoslavian immigrant living in Cologne, Germany – presumably the family moved there during the Civil War in the country or shortly thereafter. Sasha is a gifted musician whose Stanka (Zeljka Preksavec) is keen for him to do well and practice lots – for an all important audition – but his sexuality is a problem for him; his family are somewhat homophobic. Sasha’s father Vlado believes his son is seeing friend Jiao (Yvonne Yung-Hee) but Sasha’s brother Boki (Jasin Mjumjunov) knows there is nothing going on between them but Sasha keeps up the pretence to keep his sexuality a secret.

Sasha reveals the truth to Jiao when he discovers that his piano teacher Gebhard Weber (Tim Bergmann) is moving to Austria to work at a university there. The news leaves Sasha devastated; he has a very big crush on Gebhard. It is Gebhard’s news that prompts Sasha to come out to Jiao who was very clearly hoping for a different declaration from her friend; one of love. Sasha’s revelation about his sexuality leaves Jiao feeling hurt and betrayed but she soon forgives her friend. Jiao convinces Sasha to gate-crash Gebhard’s leaving party at a gaybar and tell him how he feels. Sasha does just that, kissing his piano teacher, but gets punched for his troubles and ends up feeling rejected. The film takes a twist later on as Sasha fails his audition and spends the night with Gebhard.

The film blends may themes together as it explores the lives of Sasha and his family; Sasha’s repressed sexuality and desire to be himself and be with his piano teacher is just one of themes but it could be argued that repression is the overall theme; Sasha’s brother Bok fancies Jiao but his father wants to him to suppress his feelings because he believes Jiao and Sasha are an item, Stanka and Vlado suppress their feelings of resentment towards each other and the feeling of their unfulfilled lives. The film also explores the differences in cultures and acceptability; it weaves all these strands beautifully together accompanied, at times, but piano pieces that evoke the deeper emotional meaning of the film.

Sasha is a beautifully filmed, well acted film which surpasses other similarly themed films of self discovery and coming of age. It offers a unique and untold view of coming to terms with sexuality and growing up in a society that isn’t always accepting of sexuality and difference.

Sasha is out now on DVD. {jcomments off}