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ChUrchroad: Weg Van De Kerk (Dutch Documentary) [ChUrchroad: Away From The Church]

Club Church is a subculture within Amsterdam nightlife. This cruise club offering freedom, unprecedented sex and apparent absence of judgement has the film director constantly pushing his own personal boundaries, bringing out a side of him he didn't know existed. In this personal documentary the maker explores what Club Church means to him, while his late great-uncle, who was also gay, seems to watch over his every move. Robin Vogel bares all in a film about sexual identity, non-monogamy and bridging different worlds.

The documentary starts with us meeting Robin's great granduncle, who also happened to be gay and together they shared a special bond and used to travel together for holidays. An elderly gay man who has never been able to live as freely as Robin himself. He is intrigued by the sense of freedom Robin gets from club chUrch. He then finds some candidates to interview and hear their perspective of the club and what it means for them which includes club regulars, his mother, his boyfriend, club owners, the straight doorman, a pole dancer working there and other patrons of this club.

I feel this was a first attempt by a budding film maker. Firstly, I don't even know what's the purpose of making this documentary. Robin says he wants to explore what the club means for him and how much freedom he can get, but after having seen this documentary, I am not sure how he will get answers to any of these questions. The interview settings seem rather arbitrary, the candidates chosen are flat except maybe a couple like the doorman and his honest mother. The biggest problem is that there are so many people being interviewed in this short under one hour film, that you no longer keep track of who is who and also because the conversations so flat and basic. For someone like me, who is not aware of this club, this film did give me lot o information about an aspect of gay life in Amsterdam which is probably very free and gives an opportunity for visitors to test their limits since nothing is out of bounds. Also it is a short film, so easy to watch, but besides that, I really question the need for such a documentary. (3.5/10)


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