Roma Boys is an interesting take on the traditional gay love story. A faux documentary which incorporates presumably real documentary footage, it looks at prejudice that can be found even within a minority.
A Roma rights activist David wants to make a film about meeting, and having a relationship, with Marek, a young Roma man living in the country. David is frustrated that he can’t make a documentary about this so instead would have to make a fictionalised account using actors. David is even more frustrated that large sections of the community whose rights he fight for are – quite often violently – homophobic.
The film we watch is the film David describes he wants to make. David meets a young man online, and after chatting for a number of weeks, decide to meet up. But in the interim Marek come out to his family and, after being violently assaulted by his father and brother, is forced to marry. The film has three endings, though it’s not obvious which, if any, is the ‘true’ one. Or if David is the film’s author or himself played by an actor. Or if it’s based on a true story at all. Which of course doesn’t matter, and perhaps makes Roma Boys more interesting that an attempt at recreating a set of real life events.
Roma Boys will probably be more effective as an educational film for members of the Roma Community. Although it’s a commendable effort with its heart in the right place, for this reviewer who’s seen a lot of gay cinema – from Victim to Brokeback Mountain and a great deal between – it’s hardly groundbreaking.