During our teenage years, some of us embrace individualism, stressing how unique we are and denying the need to rely on or care about others. However, sooner or later we realize we do care how others think about us, and ultimately want to be loved. The Korean documentary Summer Days in Bloom (2012) directed by Roh Eun-ji and Go U-jung, documents the intimate life of a gay couple, Gabriel and Du-yeol, both HIV-positive. As friends of the couple, the directors are able to film them from a close distance and capture their daily life in their rooftop home. Sometimes Du-yeol will hold the camera and use it as a mirror.
The living room is the main setting for the film, simply because Du-yeol does not want to go outside, or even continue with his life after he is diagnosed as HIV-positive, and his gay status already makes him hesitate to leave the house. In contrast, Gabriel participates in LGBT activism and does not hesitate to declare his sexual orientation.
The differences in their personalities result in continuous conflict between the two. In a movie of just 73 minutes, we see them break up several times. The instability of their relationship is linked to the melancholic personality of Du-yeol. Being gay is not openly accepted in Korea: there is a sequence in the film concerning a newspaper article that claims that homosexuality is harming Korean society and culture. And Du-yeol mentions at one point that he is alienated first because he is a gay, and even more seriously because he is HIV-positive. In response to the article, Du-yeol eventually agrees with Gabriel to take part in a protest for LGBT rights, and further to join a group that discusses the lives of HIV-positive people.
At one point, Du-yeol admits his desire to be loved. Towards the end of the movie Du-yeol wants to end the relationship again, but the couple reunite happily on a beach. Their embrace could be the cure to heal their wounds.