Pride Month Spotlight: Pansy

Artist Paul Harfleet’s family had always accepted his sexuality, but it was a different story outside the home. Like many young gay people, he regularly faced abuse. So, like any artist worth his salt, he turned that trauma into something brilliant: The Pansy Project.

The Pansy Project; Pansy Documentary

Harfleet plants pansies at sites where some form of homophobic abuse has taken place. He’ll go to the location, find the nearest source of soil and (generally without civic permission – ssshhh!) plants one unmarked pansy. The flower is then photographed (beautifully, we might add), uploaded to his website, given a title inspired by the abuse. Titles like “Let’s kill the Bati-Man!” and “Fucking Faggot!” reveal a frequent reality of the gay experience, which often goes unreported to authorities and by the media in certain parts of the world.

Paul Harfleet's The Pansy Project; Pansy Documentary

This simple action operates as a gesture of quiet resistance. Some pansies flourish, while others wilt. The artist began by planting pansies to mark his own experience of homophobia on the streets of Manchester, but now he plants them for others both on an individual basis and as part of various festivals and events.

Harfleet has visited cities all over Europe. To date, he has planted almost 300 individual pansies. His photographs have been exhibited internationally in Berlin, Paris, London and his hometown of Manchester, where the project began.

Paul Harfleet's The Pansy Project; Pansy Documentary

Following Harfleet as he brings the project to France for the first time, the new documentary Pansy is now streaming on Dekkoo. From Paris to Marseille, via Lille, Strasbourg and Avignon, Harfleet goes searching for testimonies and exposes the prejudices and discrimination gay people still face.

Check out the trailer for Pansy below and make sure to watch the full film on Dekkoo. It’s one of our Pride Month Selections.

New This Week – 6/7/19

A surprise federal court ruling in 2013 legalized gay marriage for Utah – triggering a fierce battle in a state where Mormon church values control the Legislature and every aspect of public life. ‘Church & State’ is available to stream now as part of our 2019 Pride Celebration.

Hassan Kendricks is a conflicted teenager torn between his devotion to his single mother and his desire to be himself. When his mother, Andrea, finds women’s underwear and a flyer to a Gay Ball in her son’s bedroom, she decides to track Hassan down and confront him about his decisions. Stream the gay short “Walk For Me’ now on Dekkoo.

In the first Australian feature film to showcase Auslan (Australian sign language) a sensitive writer grapples with a speech impediment as his profoundly deaf boyfriend provides strategies to restore his confidence. Watch ‘A Silent Agreement’ now playing on Dekkoo.

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Coming next week: Dekkoo Films presents ‘Faces’.

Pride Month Spotlight: In the Family

In the Family takes place in the small town of Martin, Tennessee, where Chip Hines (Sebastian Brodziak), a precocious six year old, has only known life with his two dads, Cody and Joey (Trevor St. John and writer/director Patrick Wang).

Patrick Wang and Trevor St. John in In the Family

When Cody dies suddenly in a car accident, Joey and Chip struggle to find their footing again. Just as they begin to, Cody’s will reveals that he named his sister as Chip’s guardian. The years of Joey’s acceptance into the family unravel as Chip is taken away from him. In his now solitary home life, Joey searches for a solution. The law is not on his side, but friends are. Armed with their comfort and inspired by memories of Cody, Joey finds a path to peace with the family and closer to his son.

Park Overall, Trevor St. John and Chip Taylor in In the Family

Wildly acclaimed by critics and in-the-know audiences for his work on this film – as well as the recent duology A Bread Factory, Part One and A Bread Factory, Part Two – writer/director Patrick Wang is one of the most thoughtful, talented and ambitious indie filmmakers most people aren’t familiar with yet.

Trevor St. John In the Family

The late, great Roger Ebert said of In the Family, “I was completely absorbed from beginning to end. What a courageous first feature this is, a film that sidesteps shopworn stereotypes and tells a quiet, firm, deeply humanist story about doing the right thing. It is a film that avoids any message or statement and simply shows us, with infinite sympathy, how the life of a completely original character can help us lead our own.”

Patrick Wang in a still from In the Family

One of our Pride Month Selections, In the Family is now available to stream on Dekkoo. Watch the trailer below.

 

New This Week – 5/31/19

Tim, a shy 16 years old athlete, is both brilliant and talented. But the pressure he undergoes pushes him to the edge, where human limits reach the point of no return. ‘1:54’ is available now on Dekkoo!

Erik’s boyfriend Marely left him. Now, the last chance for Erik to get him back is to make this movie to explain, that the only reason he sold sex was so they could afford to become parents one day. Stream the gay short ‘We Could Be Parents’ now on Dekkoo!

Visibility for the LGBT movement in Argentina wouldn’t have been the same without him. This is the life story of Carlos Jauregui, the most recongnized LGBT activist from the 80s and 90s in Argentina. ‘Carlos Jauregui: The Unforgettable Fag’ is now available on Dekkoo.

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Coming next week: The case that shook a state and changed the nation.

Eyes Wide Open is an extraordinary portrait of forbidden love

Powerfully moving and quietly humane, Eyes Wide Open, Haim Tabakman’s, debut feature is an extraordinary portrait of forbidden love in an ultra-Orthodox Jerusalem community.

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Aaron (Zohar Strauss) leads a quiet life. Each day he heads from his tidy apartment where he lives with his four children and his wife Rivka (played by an actress with the unlikely name of Tinkerbell) to his butcher-shop to his synagogue to pray.

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Aaron is a tzaddik, a righteous man, and when Ezri (Ran Danker), a beautiful twenty-something man arrives at his shop in a rainstorm looking for shelter, he gives it. But something more happens as sexual desire develops between the two men. Ezri wants to kiss Aaron, but Aaron tells Ezri that it’s a challenge for them to pray about. Ezri takes Aaron to a spring outside the city, and desire bubbles to the surface between the two men.

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As their gay love is consummated, the love between Aaron and Rivka becomes troubled. And a self-appointed “God-squad” of Jewish thugs warns Aaron that Ezri is a they don’t want in their neighborhood.

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Beautifully insightful and almost delicate in its storytelling, Eyes Wide Open, is a stunningly essential film in the cannon of queer filmmaking. With not an extra word, frame or movement, director Haim Tabakman and screenwriter Merav Doster craft a truly gorgeous and unforgettable film.

Eyes Wide Open is available now on Dekkoo.

We can’t recommend the gorgeous historical romance The Circle more highly

Part documentary, part narrative feature film, The Circle is a moving tribute to a life-long relationship that overcame intense obstacles and an insightful look at an important chapter in gay history.

Sven Schelker and Matthias Hungerbühler in The Circle

Winner of the prestigious Teddy Award at the Berlin Film Festival, The Circle tells the true story of Ernst Ostertag and Röbi Rapp, a schoolteacher and a drag entertainer, who met through their participation in a social network of gay men that developed in Zurich in the 1940s and 1950s. The two began romantic relationship. Interviews with them and other survivors and experts on the era are interspersed with documentary film and photographs as well as a scripted dramatic enactment of the story.

Sven Schelker and Matthias Hungerbühler in The Circle

Founded in the early ’40s, the network around the magazine ‘Der Kreis’ (‘The Circle’) was the only gay organisation to survive the Nazi regime. It blossomed during the post-war years into an internationally renowned underground club.

Sven Schelker in The Circle

Legendary masked balls at the Theater am Neumarkt in Zurich provided visitors from all over Europe with a secret and safe space to act out their ‘otherness’ in a self-determined way. It is there that timid teacher Ostertag falls in love with drag star Rapp. Ernst searches for a way to fight for his gayness to be accepted as normal outside the boundaries of ‘The Circle’ network without losing his employment as a teacher. Röbi champions the joint fruition of their love.

Matthias Hungerbühler in The Circle

Following a murder in the gay community, violent repression against gay people also endangers ‘The Circle’ network. Stefan Haupt’s riveting film uncovers the fascinating universe of one of the first gay liberation communities. Enriched by impressive conversational records with Ernst Ostertag and Röbi Rapp, the film depicts a decades-long love story – made taboo by society – and reveals the couple’s inspiring self-knowledge and courage.

The real life Ernst Ostertag and Röbi Rapp

Watch the trailer for The Circle below. It’s now available on Dekkoo.

New This Week – 5/17/19

Robin Williams, in on of his final roles, plays a devoted husband in a marriage of convenience who is forced to confront his secret life. Stream ‘Boulevard’ now on Dekkoo.com!

Javi, a young man from East Los Angeles, is being harassed by his homophobic neighbor. As tensions escalate, he must decide whether to confront his tormentor or turn the other cheek. ‘Pitbull’ is available now on Dekkoo!

A young teacher Ernst falls head over heels in love with the transvestite star Robi Rapp and finds himself torn between his bourgeois existence and his commitment to homosexuality. ‘The Circle’ is now streaming on Dekkoo!

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Coming next week: One woman, one man, a lot of weed, a little crying and absolutely NO sexual attraction whatsoever.