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Beach Rats

In the anonymity of chatrooms Frankie is gay, but when he goes out to the beach and meets his buddies, he wears a mask of toxic, heteronormative masculinity.


“I don‘t really know what I like“ is what Frankie says to the men he meets online to have sex with. His increasingly more confident deeds tell a different story. The anonymity of the video chatrooms lets him be as free as the seagulls in the blue ocean on his screensaver. In reality, the ocean on the beach of Brooklyn is incredibly dark and has a mask on. He messes around with a group of boys. Smoke fills his lungs, muscles are compared, they entertain themselves by stealing and objectifying beautiful women. Muscular bodies sweating in the sun, firm legs dancing to music, sticky lips taking a drag from a joint. Director Eliza Hittman lets the audiences drift into the chaotic emotional world of the protagonist in the sex scenes. Entangled bodies in extreme close-up are simultanously uncomfortably intrustive and vividly gentle. Frankie watches his little sister with her first boyfriend. She will get a belly button piercing inspired by her big brother‘s alibi girlfriend. Frankie, on the other hand, doesn‘t have role models that he can identify with. He only has the black ocean of toxic masculinity, with misogyny and homophobia pointing the way. In the first moments of the film we see Frankie‘s naked upper body in flashes as he takes photos for his online profile. The second lightning storm snaps photos of him and his girlfriend Simone. For a moment when both of them dance in a club together, it sounds like the singer is plaintively singing “help me.“


Translation: Elinor Lewy


USA 2017, 95 min
Genre: Drama, Youth Film
Director: Eliza Hittman
Author: Eliza Hittman
DOP: Hélène Louvart
Montage: Scott Cummings, Joe Murphy
Distributor: Salzgeber & Co. Medien
Cast: Neal Huff, Harrison Dickinson, Kate Hodge, Erik Potempa
FSK: 16
Release: 25.01.2018




  • OV Original version
  • OmU Original with German subtitles
  • OmeU Original with English subtitles
English/with English subtitles
All languages

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