On the basis of anonymous telephone calls made to a helpline for teenagers, On Hold makes us hear a dissonant speech. Recounted here by older people, these testimonies are the occasion to question the construction of masculinity and its generational heritage. Between humour and dread, the film unveils what remains unsaid in a sick society.
On the basis of anonymous telephone calls made to a helpline for young men aged under 20, Laura Rantanen builds a singular cinematographic apparatus. Equipped with a background in anthropology, the filmmaker makes use of these accounts to extend her field of research. In primarily still frames, in the heart of their ordinary apartments, their testimonies are recounted by old people. This detachment, provoking a certain humour, again brings out the issues involved in the texts at the same time. Racism, homophobia, relationships with video games, isolation: these are the jumble of subjects that go through the minds of many teenagers. This speech, which is both free and raw, depicts the manner in which a certain construction of masculinity is diffused. The generational shift undertaken by On Hold lets us rightly question the heritage of these power structures and the type of relations that result from them. With hindsight and lucidity, Laura Rantanen raises the alert on a sick society while holding to account actors who have become invisible over time.