Engaging with a nuanced aspect of adoption, the short film strives for and achieves an adept exploration of sexuality. It foregrounds the supremacy of heteronormative structures of society refusing to budge from its fixed position. A young boy in a Brazilian orphanage is adopted by a family who soon sends him back to the orphanage. It continues several times until the viewer is allowed a glimpse into his life and the opportunity to find out for themselves the reason behind all the failed adoptions.
The film offers the most delicate handling of a sensitive subject and portrays a boy's coming to terms with his sexuality in a skilful manner. The camerawork further enhances this as does the performance of the cast. The narrative manages to tap into the fierceness as well as the vulnerability of Jonathas with effortless ease and notable expertise.
With its unique premise and honest storytelling, The Orphan becomes a poignant engagement with sexuality and a child's need to belong in the face of the hegemony of a cis-gender society that refuses to look beyond its monolithic foundations. In the process, it becomes a relevant comment on gender, the fluidity of sexuality and the pure innocence inherent to a child's approach to the world.