Day 10 - double figures and we're on the home stretch. What better way to celebrate than watch a Danish film about Neo-Nazis?

Nicolo Donato won Best Film at the 2009 Rome Film Festival for Brotherhood. It's a surprisingly straightforward film, about camaraderie and the homoeroticism of the far right. From the opening sequence we know what the character trajectories will be: Jimmy is a Neo-Nazi, luring a young gay man into a vicious beating. Lars is an army sergeant, relieved from duty for accusations that he came onto one of his men. When Lars becomes a member of the fascist gang, it's only a matter of time before the two men are conducting their affair in secret, fearful of what will happen if the other members find out.

More LLGFF after the jump... Day 10 - double figures and we're on the home stretch. What better way to celebrate than watch a Danish film about Neo-Nazis?

Nicolo Donato won Best Film at the 2009 Rome Film Festival for Brotherhood. It's a surprisingly straightforward film, about camaraderie and the homoeroticism of the far right. From the opening sequence we know what the character trajectories will be: Jimmy is a Neo-Nazi, luring a young gay man into a vicious beating. Lars is an army sergeant, relieved from duty for accusations that he came onto one of his men. When Lars becomes a member of the fascist gang, it's only a matter of time before the two men are conducting their affair in secret, fearful of what will happen if the other members find out.

It's certainly not the first film to fetishise anti-gay violence, which arguably began with the skinhead movement. But fortunately it attempts to go beyond that by concentrating on the slow and tender progression of Lars and Jimmy's relationship. In fact there is very little else going on in the film, and so it draws a subtle performances from the leads. You can almost sympathise with the men, but every other scene is a reminder that they hold to ideals which give no room for humanity.

There's a feeling towards the end of the film that the writer was looking to wrap it up in a few pages, and it jars with the lilting romantic storyline.

Brotherhood had some nice moments, but didn't really leave a lasting impression - I think it will be more appealing to the people it represents, gay men fascinated by their own persecution.

A much more spiritual approach to sexual identity and gender comes from USA documentary Two Spirits.

In Native American culture a child may be born a boy or girl, but also masculine and feminine, therefore there are considered to be four genders. The term gay doesn't sum up these alternate genders/sexualities, and so a translation they use "Two Spirits" - literally there are two spirits inhabiting the same body. Before Christianity infected the Navajo culture with sexual guilt and homophobia, these Two Spirit people were revered as wise people and carers of their community. Now they are outcasts because of their genetics.

It's a fascinating subject, exploring ancient culture to reclaim a modern identity where labels are obsolete, and I would have preferred a deeper anthropological study on the matter. But this documentary is also an emotive piece about the murder of a young man, identifying as Two Spirit.

In 2001, 16 year old Fred Martinez was brutally murdered in the small town of Cortez, Colorado. The historical context of Two Spirits is used to explain Fred's character. But ultimately it's not so different to the persecution of any other gay and/or trans person.

There's an interview with a human rights worker who travelled to the town after the incident and worked to get it recognised as a hate crime. This could be an entirely different documentary as the issue of why hate crimes should carry heavier penalties if still widely misunderstood.

It's difficult to suggest that a film, which features such an honest interview with the victim's mother, and explores such a tragic story, is actually quite badly made, but I must. I found it manipulative to the point that it felt like a cheap "movie of the week" and I was disturbed by the decision to stage a dramatic reconstruction of Fred's killing, complete with copious fake blood and screams.

Two Spirits could have been an intelligent commentary on either Navajo culture, gender or hate crime. But it chose to use the horrific murder of Fred Martinez to add an insensitive narrative to a lacklustre documentary.