Director: John Palmer

Canada| 2004. Colour. Dolby stereo. 78 min.

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 eighteenth 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. Sugar’s descent into the crystal-caked streets of downtown Toronto may require a strong stomach, but 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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