Watch a seductive clip from Eastern Boys

Exclusive: sugar daddy seeks young Eastern European prostitute in this chilling film about complex relationships

Like every city, Paris has a darkness that diverts itself away from the tourist traps and picturesque Kodak moments, something that director Robin Campillo highlights with his latest film Eastern Boys, a film that focuses not only on issues of immigration, prostitution and commodification, but also transformative forms of love. Opening in Paris’ chaotic Gare du Nord, the film centres on Daniel (Olivier Rabourdin), a middle-class older gentleman who solicits a young Eastern European prostitute, Marek (Kirill Emelyanov), for sex, only for his apartment to be raided by Marek’s gang, which is lorded over by Boss (Daniil Vorobyov).

Director Robin Campillo: “For me I think of it as Daniel’s first time going to talk to a prostitute, but maybe it was something that he had been contemplating for a long time. When he talks to Marek it's like he's wants to have a form of romance. Of course it's not exactly like this, but in his mind it's something quite romantic. In that sense he becomes very weak; he's confused between feelings of romance but at the same time he knows that it's not exactly legal. He loses his power at this moment. 

Here Marek is quite mesmerising for Daniel, and he knows exactly how to manipulate this older guy who doesn't know how to talk to him. Daniel is a little bit lost in this kind of relationship, as he doesn't know how to manage himself. 

I really wanted to convey that Marek was in charge here, because when we're introduced to him at the 'party', I wanted the audience to realise that he was a child and he was lost. I was amazed by the work of Kirill Emelyanov, because when he gets in to the home invasion scene he seems a bit melancholic. You may think that he's melancholic because he feels a little guilty trapping this guy who wasn't so bad, but you can think at the same time that he's sad because he lost an opportunity to escape the gang. It's not clear.

As their relationship progresses things become a little blurry, but I wanted to try to make a film to understand this kind of situation, not to cause controversy. I really try to think about whether it's possible for love to mutate. Of course I narrate that through a story that is a little bit extreme, but I think it's possible. I was trying to make a film about an unbelievable situation. But there is some kind of truth in their relationship, even when it's too much.”

Eastern Boys is out in cinemas December 5