Title – ‘Bones of Contention‘
Director – Andrea Weiss
Release Date – 2017
“When the pure forms sank in the cri-cri of daisies, I knew they had assassinated me. They combed the cafes, cemeteries and churches, they pried open the wine-casks and closets, destroyed three skeletons to take their gold teeth. Still, they didn’t find me.”
– “Fabula y Rueda de los Tres Amigos” by Federico Garcia Lorca
‘Bones of Contention‘ by Andrea Weiss is a documentary that shines a light on a dark period of Spain’s history – the persecution of LGBTQ people under the reign of Franco (1939-1975). During his time in power over 120,000 murdered people were buried in unmarked graves along the roads of Spain. Many of these people were persecuted for political reasons which included their choice to live their queer lives out in the open. Federico Garcia Lorca was one of Spain’s most famous citizens – a poet, playwright, and theatre director. He was friends with other famous Spanish artists like Salvador Dali, Emilio Aladren, and Luis Bunuel. The film focuses on LGBTQ people in general but does focus quite a bit on Federico mainly because he became the most famous missing victim of Franco’s 120,000 victims that were buried in unmarked mass graves. To this day the body has never been found.
Known as the ‘Spanish Hitler’ Franco rose to power with support from Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini and was responsible for the deaths of over 500,000 soldiers and civilians by the time he became Spain’s dictator in 1939. The aftermath of the civil war was horrible for Spain as thousands of prominent doctors, politicians, teaches, lawyers, and other professionals who had supported Spain’s Republic were forced to flee or possibly be jailed/murdered.
Because Franco’s Spain was very Catholic, sexuality wasn’t discussed in the open. Eventually though the government saw that they had to address the growing concerts of homosexuals and transvestites and so they created the ‘Law of Social Dangers’. It provided the police with a way to arrest anyone that appeared to endanger social mores in public OR in private. A funny exclusion to this rule were lesbians. The machismo ruling class saw women as so insignificant that they wouldn’t have ever thought of women as having the possibility of being homosexual. Sadly women were preoccupied with other injustices like no divorce and no birth control.
The film does a great job of providing a myriad of subjects: scholars, gays, lesbians, ex-cons, and even a cabaret singer who was jailed for being a transvestite. They look at the past offenses to LGBTQ people under Franco’s rule, but more importantly they look to the future to map a path that will make them proud of living in Spain, a country that they all obviously have a love of.
Watch it with: Yourself or a friend that enjoys emotional documentaries.
Mix it with: Probably water for this one.
Two young men – one a needy and lost man-boy, the other a guarded but lonely bartender – embark on a fun, intense relationship only to see it threatened when one is imprisoned for drug possession. ‘Beyond the Walls’ is available to stream now on Dekkoo!
A ghostly love story unfolds as two men look for answers where ocean meets sky and city meets wild in Rockaway Beach, NY. Watch ‘The Surf Report’ now on Dekkoo!
Chase has not confessed to his best college buddy Tyler that he is gay. When Tyler bring him home for the summer to hang out with his family, things get even worse. Chase finds a that he and Tyler’s dad Nathan have a strong attraction to one another. Soon, they’re left alone together and a shocking family secret develops. Watch ‘Mulligans’ now on Dekkoo!
Coming next week: A wonderful documentary that explores the theme of historical memory in post-Franco Spain, focusing on the unknown story of LGBT repression under “Franquismo”.
And here’s one more photo because we liked it so much.
Title – ‘Sasha‘
Director – Dennis Todorovic
Starring – Sasa Kekez, Predrag Bjelac, Ljubisa Gruicic, Zeljka Preksavec
Release Date – 2010
It’s Wednesday and tonight you deserve a good ‘ole heart-warming hump day movie! I proudly present to you the crowd-pleasing gay coming-of-age/romance/daddy film ‘Sasha‘ directed by Dennis Todorovic. This film went under the radar back in 2010, but it really shouldn’t have and Dekkoo is the perfect place for you to re-discover this gay gem!
‘Sasha‘ rises above movies of it’s ilk due to a few factors, but the most noticeable one is the fact that Sasha comes from a family of immigrants. Mistaken for the most part as Serbians (although really from Montenegro) Sasha’s family now lives in Germany and are outsiders for the most part. The only piece of Sasha’s life that really connects him to his peers is his love of music. He’s a piano player and a very serious one at that. He trains hard to be accepted to the best music school in Germany and that’s where our love interest comes into play. Sasha’s love of music isn’t the only thing propelling him forward, but also his instructor who he’s madly fallen in love with. Enter Gebhard – the classic stereotypical hunky German guy in his late-30s who’s passionate about music, life, and swimming in really skimpy swim suits!
When Gebhard tells Sasha he’s leaving the city Sasha realizes that the next few weeks are his ‘now or never’ moment. If he wants to be with the love of his life (Daddy!) he needs to come out and confess himself. If only it was that easy… He also has to focus on the upcoming piano audition, pay attention to his best friend Jiao (a violinist) who’s totally in love with him, and deal with his crazy immigrant family – of which his father is pretty homophobic, so there’s that all to deal with.
Fun Fact: Gebhard (played by Tim Bergmann) played another gay man 14 years earlier in ‘Regular Guys‘ which is also available on Dekkoo! So if you’re in love and can’t get enough Gebhard there’s more!
Watch it with: All of your romantic-leaning friends.
Mix it with: A German wine.
When John discovers his sister’s fiance is Jack, his childhood crush, passions ignite and his life spirals out of control…losing his job, his playboy reputation and his underwear, all while rushing to the altar to finally confess his love! ‘John Apple Jack’ is available to stream now on Dekkoo!
Pepijn and Sjors’ steady, seven-year relationship is shaken up after they allow a young student named Cas to sleep on their couch. Watch ‘CAS’ now, exclusively on Dekkoo!
A mischievous disabled girl absconds to London to find love and opportunity, but finds an unlikely outcome in her life when she hooks up-with a washed up male escort. Watch ‘Little Devil’ now on Dekkoo!
Coming next week: A wonderfully acted and taut love story of two outsiders.
Title – ‘Cas‘
Director – Joris van den Berg
Starring – Kevin Hassing, Wieger Windhorst, Felix Meyer, Yootha Wong-Loi-Sing
Release Date – 2016
Hallo from the Netherlands (or Holland if you’d prefer)! The home of Rembrandt, Van Gogh, and the inventor of solid chocolate! Ooh la la! It’s also home to a boatload of cute gay couples just waiting to invite you into their apartment so you can sleep on their couch while you worm your way into their lives without realizing it. Well at least I assumed from the movie ‘Cas‘ I just watched that that’s the case. Well I’ll just pretend to myself that it happens allll the time. You’ve gotta live for something…
‘Cas‘, a film directed by Joris van den Berg is actually a made-for-TV film which makes me instantly sad that I don’t live in the Netherlands and can’t have something like this broadcasting over the air permeating my entire body with it’s emotional and sexy brilliance. Running at only 48 minutes it’s a breath of fresh air as to what Joris is able to accomplish in such a short amount of time. The way in which the viewer enters the film and is quickly able to take stock of the current situation of the relationship is incredibly strong. We’re immediately aware that we’re in the presence of a couple that’s at the make-or-break stage. They love each other, but they both have long-term needs that could conflict.
Enter our main character Cas who will decide for them if they’re made for this pairing or if they just wish they were. Invited by Sjors to crash on their couch while he looks for a place to live, Cas shows up one day to Pepjin’s surprise. While we’re a little confused at first how the two met, it’s eventually revealed that Sjors had met up with him a few times previously. Pepjin’s reluctance gives way to a welcoming attitude once Cas’ love of 80s music and ‘Twin Peaks’ comes to light. Eventually after a drunken night out the three end up sleeping together and then the real relationship tests really start.
There’s so much to like about this film. Pepjin’s emotional fragility, Sjors’ tender daddy personality, and Cas’ puppy dog-like charm are a few of them. But other topics like the contrasting desires and goals in a relationship and the nature of monogamy are explored with such a delicate yet strong touch that reminded me of my own relationships and made me question what I want in my future relationships. All in all this is a fantastic 48 minute film and I can’t wait to see what Joris van den Berg is able to do with 96 minutes next time!
Watch it with: Your boyfriend and your houseboy.
Mix it with: A Heineken (it’s from the Netherlands!!)