January 17

Un chant d'amour (1950)

Jean Genet

Un chant d'amour is French writer Jean Genet's only film. Not making use of dialogue, Genet focuses on bodies, faces, armpits, hands, and penises. Jean Genet’s filmmaking is stark, eroticized and flesh-bound. The film has longtime been banned due to its explicit homosexual content but is today considered a milestone, not just of gay rebellion but also of pure sensual expression on screen. The prisoners united in arousal but separated by walls, the flesh against stone, is not only a metaphor for a society-enforced division on gay men but also for the need of connection and touch which encompasses all of human existence.

Jean Genet (19 December 1910 – 15 April 1986) was a French novelist, playwright, poet, essayist, political activist, petty thief, and vagabond. Major works include the novels The Thief's Journal, and Our Lady of the Flowers, and the plays The Balcony, The Maids and The Screens. Genet made one film: Un chant d'amour.