Director: John Palmer

Canada 2004| 35 mm| 78 mins

Inspired by a series of stories from the infamous Bruce La Bruce, Sugar is a provocative coming-of-age story. On the night of his 18th birthday suburban gay boy Cliff heads into the city armed with nothing but a joint, a skateboard and a resolute determination to get himself laid. There he meets Butch, a strikingly handsome hustler to whom Cliff cedes control of his life with painful and often X-rated results.
Tutored by Butch in the ways of his challenging life, Cliff becomes street-smart and self-assured. But what begins as a trusting friendship rapidly descends into the world of prostitution and drug addiction, forcing Cliff through a harrowing transition from adolescence to manhood. Sugar’s descent into the crystal-caked streets of downtown Toronto may require a strong stomach but throughout, John Palmer’s film remains optimistic about the kindness and redemption to be found in even the most brutalised corners of society.

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