Case in point for the need of a CineManArt series: the homophobic Italian film David’s Birthday (Il Compleanno). While vacationing in an Italian summer home, happily married Matteo finds himself attracted to his best friend’s son, David, a college student and underwear-model. Their lovemaking has devastating affects on them and the people around them. The message: do not accept yourself, hide those feelings, don’t act on them because people you love will die! This film was made in 2009!
See instead the Argentinean gem Plan B, also from 2009. Bruno plots revenge after his girlfriend Laura leaves him by coming between her and her new boyfriend, Pablo. But his plan — which entails a growing friendship with Pablo — soon takes an unexpected turn. His sexuality comes into question and the questioning and doubts end in acceptance and lovemaking where no one dies!
Images and messages of the “dangers” in gay sex and dire consequences if gay people seek acceptance and act on their feelings continue to have devastating affects on gay viewers who are looking for positive images. They also influence both public perception and public policy.
Skip David’s Birthday, go for Plan B!