Once a year The CRUISE sets sail for a cruise only for gay men. And for this time, an all-male week-long voyage from Lisbon to the Canary Islands in a ship that holds 2,386 passengers.
For many who come from societies less than friendly to “out” behavior, it promises the powerful experience of being yourself in an open-air, protective environment. For those used to living openly, the ship has the lure of a 7-day rave where displaying your pecs and abs is a far more effective mating ritual than mere peacock plumage. But if your delts can’t come up to even Zac Efron standards, then old-fashioned charm won’t do the trick when set against an intimidating array of thousands of preening supermen stuffed into Speedos
Tristan Ferland Milewski’s documentary profiled several travelers on a weeklong cruise catering to gay men.
“Let’s take the boys to sea!” announces the captain of the ship embarking on a weeklong European cruise geared specifically to gay men. That this is not your ordinary love boat is made apparent by the housekeepers leaving condoms instead of chocolates on the beds in the cabins.
It begins with passengers boarding the luxury ship in flip-flops and tank tops. A pair in nautical outfits greets old friends with kisses and champagne glasses. The chatter in the promenade grows as small crowds become a large sea of excited smiles.
Tristan Ferland Milewski’s ship-bound documentary follows five men from different nationalities as they check off a predictable litany of issues, from body fascism to HIV, acceptance at home to the search for love.
Soon, the camera moves from just gazing at passing strangers to focusing on specific men in the international crowd. There’s a passenger from India on his first gay cruise, a Frenchman with disabilities who’s determined to have a good time, a Polish man searching for a soul mate, a Palestinian who’s moved to Belgium and the hot Austrian photographer everyone poses for. Although we don’t yet know their names, the men start to emerge through their stories.
The CRUISE promises seven days of sunshine, love, and freedom – but on board are also their personal stories, their doubts and uncertainties…
Needless to say, “Dream Boat” will find a hospitable berth at nearly every LGBTQ festival imaginable.
PRODUCTION: (Documentary – Germany) A Real Fiction Filme release of a Gebrueder Beetz Filmproduktion, ZDF production, in association with Arte. (International sales: Cinephil, Tel Aviv.) Producer: Christian Beetz. Creative producers: Kerstin Meyer-Beetz, Tuan Lam.
CREW: Director, writer: Tristan Ferland Milewski. Camera: Jörg Junge, Jakob Stark.
Editor: Markus CM Schmidt.
Music: My Name Is Claude.