The International Jury, with filmmaker and journalist Jasmine Kainy, Dutch poet Erik Lindner and publisher of poetry film magazine Guido Naschert, awarded four prizes:
The ZEBRA Prize for the Best Poetry Film, donated by the Haus für Poesie:
Boy Saint (IRL 2018)
director: Tom Speers
Poem: „Boy Saint“ by Peter LaBerge
„Young men died and die, / in bodies like this and don’t ghost, except / on voice messages their mothers play to keep / alive.“ The tragic-beautiful tone of the young US-poet Peter LaBerge’s poem sets the mood with which the emotionally moving film by Tom Speers approaches the topics of „Queerness“, „Infection“, and „Physicality“, the complex relationships of religion, desire, and the forbidden.
Strategies of sacralization in language, music and image suggest a complex of guilt and oppression creating feelings of ambivalence without attacking anyone superficially. The seemingly authoritative voice thus ultimately remains an element of what we found to be a long-lasting irritation, a thought-provoking disturbance.
In Boy Saint the poet writes honestly frankly, filmmaker and cameraman embody their subject. Capturing the moment one detaches from the other, those who were once one.
This notion is represented by a group of boys that horse around, cavort, fight, wander around, make jokes, and romp. When we see from up close the other is different, we become aware of ourselve. In biblical terms – a thorn comes between us.
Just as in Michael Ondaatjes novel The Cat’s Table the boy by chance sees how the blouse of a girl falls open, and at that moment the world tears apart and will never be one again.
The world is devided in two sexes. The Irish director Tom Speers and the American poet Peter LaBerge let this realisation take place within one sex. It is an impressive film in which boys discover both their beautiful and ugly sides.