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By Merle Bertrand | September 2, 2003

There are certain things that make perfect sense, even if we don’t usually think about them. Take abusive relationships, for example. Most people, upon reading the phrase “abusive relationship,” would conjure up unfortunate images of spousal abuse or tragic thoughts of child abuse. These kinds of stories, after all, often appear in the newspapers or on the news, and all-too frequently get turned into bad Lifetime movies. Yet, it only stands to reason that the violent tendencies that lead to abuse can’t only be limited to heterosexuals. In other words, homosexuals are just as capable of dishing out — and receiving — abuse as straight folks. Makes perfect sense. It’s just that those of us who are straight don’t think much about it. We will be after watching “Black-Eyed,” though.
Director Ryan Cox’ chilling short film starts out innocuous enough. A young kid, (Andy White) goes to see a band at a club, hangs out with the singer (Oriah Lonsdale) and their friends for a while, then heads home. That’s when the nightmare begins.
He timidly steps inside, only to find his hulking boyfriend (Brionne Davis) waiting to unleash his fury on him in a truly disturbing scene. The next morning, badly bruised and battered, the kid visits his musician friend…who’s also a photographer who pays the kid to model his injuries for the camera. Their almost casual conversation and the graphic photographs framed on the wall indicate that this isn’t the first time they’ve conducted this ritual. The startling turn of events after this particular photo session, however, pretty much guarantees that it was the last time.
Cox has done a pretty darned good job of broaching this practically taboo subject with “Black-Eyed,” which is a decent short film in its own right. White’s diminutive vulnerability contrasts nicely both with his boyfriend’s physical domination and his singer/photographer friend’s exploitation of him.
While not a preachy film by any means, the intensely disturbing “Black-Eyed” nonetheless opens our own eyes, reminding us of something we should already know: that evil does not discriminate based on one’s sexual orientation.

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