Macho by Cyriel Guds

A man who tries to be 'macho' struggles with his emotions. So he resorts to violence.

He may have started off as a sensitive and innocent boy, but Jay has grown up learning to be tough, invulnerable and aggressive. Now an adult, he suppresses any emotion and impulse besides anger and domination. Life is about conquest, power and gratification — especially sexually.

But then one of his girlfriends delivers some life-changing news — and the way he reacts will test the limits of his humanity.

True to its simple but powerful title, actor-director Cyriel Guds — who is based in the Netherlands — has crafted a dramatic short with a strong, clear message.

Structured around one key moment in Jay’s life — and anchored by a layered, nuanced performance of a character who avoids any emotional and psychological nuance — “Macho” reveals the complexity and darkness around toxic masculinity.

Pared down and provocative, the film’s final moments will haunt and maybe even sadden viewers, offering a glimpse at Jay’s self-created psychological prison.

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