Do you remember your best childhood friends? I can never forget them because they were all a part of my intimate family that I considered brothers and sisters. Many of them are the best memories of growing up that I still cherish today. I often wonder how they disappeared from my life.
Tonight, I had the incredible experience of viewing a film called Close released in 2022. Close is a coming-of-age drama film directed by Lukas Dhont, and written by Dhont and Angelo Tijssens, reteaming after their first feature film Girl(2018). The film stars Eden Dambrine, Gustav de Waele, Émilie Dequenne and Léa Drucker. It follows two teenage boys whose close friendship is thrown into disarray when their schoolmates notice their intimacy, causing a rift between them. Close premiered at the Cannes Film Festival on 26 May 2022 to critical acclaim and won the Grand Prix, specialized critics praised the performances.
The film reminded me of the innocence of my childhood friends. We all truly loved each other and would have done anything to protect the other. My friends were girls and boys, and we could never stop laughing, teasing each other, hugging, and having slumber parties weekly. Around the age of 12 my friends started to change because of the negative talk at school and in our neighbourhood. None of us understood why we were being talked about but many of my friends started to pull away, which was extremely painful. Today, I would call it bullying. None of our parents understood what we were dealing with daily, and we didn’t know how to share it with them. But even today, when I think of them, the thoughts and sweet memories still make me smile. There was never an hour, day, week, or month that we weren’t glued together. If only I would have known how special, they were to me.
I can still remember each of their names, even when I can’t remember where I placed my car or house keys most of the time. When I close my eyes, I can clearly see their smiling faces as we played outside all day, chasing each other, or when sitting in school pretending to be paying attention to our teacher. Their parents were also like my parents, always sharing love through the many delicious meals. There was Sunny who ended up being a football player throughout school. He also taught us how to protect ourselves and throw a good punch. When all else failed he trained us to fight…