Love has to be one of the strangest, most bizarre and bafflingly amazing afflictions suffered by human beings. It can bring the strongest person to their knees or give the weakest the strength to succeed. If that love is unrequited then it can be soul-destroying and heart-wrenching. It can drive you to distraction, dangerous obsession and to do things you wouldn’t normally dream of doing. In Camille Vidal-Naquet’s new film Sauvage, his lead’s entire existence revolves around one man.

Leo (Félix Maritaud) lives a tough life on the streets of Strasbourg. He frequents a popular pick-up point, selling his body for money to pay for his addiction and, if he’s lucky, a warm bed for the night. He’s befriended by the much more street-savvy Ahd (Eric Bernard), whom Leo falls in love with. However, his hunky protector is in it purely for the money and is always searching for something better.

Sauvage is a vibrant, febrile and kinetic portrait of love, desperation and hope. Maritaud, who impressed so much in 120 Beats Per Minute and Knife + Heart last year, is a force of nature. He’s relentless and this seemingly unstoppable until he hits rock bottom, only to receive the kindness of strangers. Vidal-Naquet’s debut feature is a compelling and entrancing drama; cutely edited and snappily shot.

Sauvage is out in cinemas from 1 March.