Frameline48: Turtles

Now in their 80s, Thom and Henri are a married couple living an outwardly sweet existence at their quaint home in Brussels with their pet turtles Topsy and Turvy. As they celebrate Henri’s retirement from the police force, Thom sees this as a perfect opportunity to rekindle their passion after 35 years. But Henri can’t cope with his newfound lack of purpose, and thus… the two start to drive one other crazy. 

Through a series of increasingly desperate and hilarious maneuvers that only further drive the wedge between them, Thom crusades to keep their marriage alive… even if Henri would rather turn to Grindr instead. And soon, the battleground for a high-stakes game of one-upmanship is set. For writer/director David Lambert (Beyond the Walls, Frameline37), Turtles is the film he wished he had seen as a teenager, when his cinematic and real-life search for relatable, queer role models always came up empty. Likening Thom and Henri to a classic Tracy and Hepburn duo, Lambert finds the perfect match in English actor/comedian Dave Johns (I, Daniel Blake) and Belgian cinema royalty Olivier Gourmet (Two Days, One Night).

Short films showing in this film:

Goodbye Tango

Directed by Jason Laurits

The sudden death of Ruth’s beloved hamster reveals a decaying marriage with her curmudgeon wife, Connie. Ruth can either accept the death of things or keep spinning the wheel. (14 mins)

1h 23m
David Lambert
Belgium, Canada
English and French with English Subtitles
First Showing
June 22, 2024