The Revolution Is My Boyfriend!

Queer cinema gets radical in the latest Flaming Film Festival

Talk commie to me: Andreas Rupprecht and Anton Z. Risan in 'Raspberry Reich'
Strand Releasing
Talk commie to me: Andreas Rupprecht and Anton Z. Risan in 'Raspberry Reich'

Besides reporting a rarely told piece of modern history, the film's interviewees raise questions about the diversity and universality of queer culture. A Pakistani man says, "[Here] you don't identify yourself as gay...you can practice homosexuality." According to Foucault and others, that was the essence of homosexuality up until about a century ago, when the concept of a discrete gay identity and culture developed in the West. But that's a disputed idea, and one woman interviewed in Dangerous Living suggests that if modern gay liberation is a Western idea, so is modern homophobia. The movie culminates at the Sydney Gay Games of 2002, where thousands of international LGBT people gathered for sport and to support human rights. It's a grandly moving scene. The whole movie, in fact, is vastly inspiring, so much so that statements that might seem trite in an ordinary movie are tear-wrenchingly powerful here. "They tried to break me," says one of the Cairo 52, now exiled in Vancouver, "but I don't break easily. My sexuality is my own sexuality. It doesn't belong to anybody. Not to my government, not to my brother, my sister, my family. No one."

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