Illegal immigration, unequal relationships and gay sex are put under the microscope in the compelling and slyly urgent ‘Eastern Boys’ from French filmmaker Robin Campillo (writer and/or editor of most of Laurent Cantet’s films, including ‘The Class’). Middle-aged Daniel (Olivier Rabourdin) meets much younger Marek (Kirill Emelyanov) – one of a gang of young East European men – at Paris’s Gare du Nord and arranges a paid-for hook-up at Daniel’s place the next day. It’s stylishly handled, shot with the gaze of a security camera, as we see the gang stake out their territory on the concourse. The scene that follows is just as stunning, as a horde of home-invaders crash the party.
Later scenes are more intimate as Campillo tracks Daniel and Marek’s evolving, shifting relationship. The film opens out to consider Marek’s dangerous ties to the loose band of paperless outsiders who manage his time and money. It’s an uneven work, mysterious in its refusal to tell us much at all about Daniel, but it has a ring a truth to it even when it slips into less enigmatic thriller territory.