Philippe (a doe-eyed, pouty Patrick Bouchitey) is the music/theater counselor in his father's summer camp. He's sensitive, bookish, intelligent, good looking maybe even a bit of a prig: in high school, the type of guy usually teased by the football team.
Marc (a charismatic Patrick Dewaere) is the football/sport coach at the camp who takes it upon himself to humiliate, tease, and even flirt with Philippe whenever he has the opportunity. Marc's motivation is never made completely clear but the situation between he and Phillipe can arguably be attributed to Marc's closeted homosexuality: you "hate" what you really "love" and so on. On the other hand, a case can be made for Marc being simply a bully and a jerk: maybe his father beat him or should have. The genius of the story is that you never know for sure.
Director Claude Miller ("Alias Betty") structures this simple, straightforward story with an acute eye towards spicing up even the smallest detail with the heady aroma of insinuation and subtext. Though we pretty much know where this story is going we are more than happy to ride it out with Miller and his excellent actors.
The tension, both sexual and psychological, between Phillipe and Marc is physically palpable: the screen crackles when these two go at each other and the denouement of this film is wise, thoughtful as well as profoundly exhilarating.