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Feature Films

Antoine Leonetti

Coordinator of the FIRE!! Mostra

Bittersweet France

Beyond the reflection about the body that FIRE!! Mostra is suggesting, another topic marks clearly both its location and program: France. The French Institute of Barcelona opens generously its doors to us this year, and we have to thank sincerely its director, Pierre Raynaud, not only for his shrewdness by making the Mostra challenges his own, but also for his great enthusiasm in starting this collaboration.

This year programme will allow us to have a perspective of homosexuality in France, a country that it is celebrating the 10th anniversary of the famous “PACS”, which started out the recognition of gay and lesbian couples rights in Europe. A huge advance at the time for the material security of this couples, but still an instrument that today seems to hold back paradoxically the complete rights parity with heterosexual couples, a reality already in other European countries such as Spain, Sweden, Norway, Belgium, Holland or United Kingdom. PACS does not allow neither adoption nor residence permit to a foreigner partner, and social advantages are far less compared to marriage. The land of human rights seems to have stayed behind in this matter, and it surprising to see that this social debate is not very controversial there, compared to the giant steps of the neighbour countries. La Douce France of the Charles Trenet song remains still bittersweet for some. The French Institute of Barcelona initiative, under this perspective, has therefore even more sense.

The 5 shorts against homophobia that we are presenting in the Mostra, sponsored by the French Ministry of Health, are another good proof that there is still a lot to do with the mentalities of a country on the other hand very open culturally to heterosexual freedom (and licentiousness), but oddly demure regarding homosexuality. In that sense, the acclaimed director Sébastien Lifshitz will offer a perspective full of desire shades with his new and very awaited movie Plein Sud, completing our tribute to him by showing Presque Rien and Wild Side. France again and the violent uncertainties of sexual identity, with Je te mangerais of Sophie Laloy. Or with Omelette of Rémi Lange, an extraordinary testimony in Super 8 of his own outing in front of his family in the early 90's. And France at last, with the always interesting François Ozon and his new opus, The Refuge. Sweet France then in the case of the French seventh art, acting undoubtedly for homosexuality as a clear accelerator for social normalization.