„Rereading this book, as well as reading it for the first time, reshapes the categories through which we experience and perform our lives and bodies. To be troubled in this way is an intellectual pleasure and a political necessity“. Donna Haraway
Donna Haraway’s quote about Butler’s Gender Troubles is a good point from which starting to speak about the 2013 French movie Blue is the warmest colour, by the film director Abdellatif Kechiche, for two reasons: first of all I find the movie particularly bothersome in some ways that I will discuss by showing some gender troubles. Second, I think it is interesting to see not only the reasons of this bother, but also the consequences, if they are present.
This movie has divided the public opinion in two parts: the lovers and the radical critics. What do they love and what do they hate? The funs love the normality and authenticity of a love story between two girls, Adele and Emma. The critics hate the realistic framing, in particular the pornographic insistence on sex scenes and the flatness of the characters. If these are the formations, I have to confess I belong to the critical one. Why? Why does this movie disturb me?
As far as the iper-realistic framings are concerned here’s my list: the demanding focus on bodily details, for example a mouth dirty of sauce while eating a terrible overcooked pasta (I still have to decide if it’s the former or the latter which hurts me the most); the sex between two women painted as something incredible and, finally, some considerations about the feminine orgasm.
What’s the problem? Annoying realism makes sense only if it makes you think about something important. But here there’s nothing to think about. The most important reason why people remember or know something about this movie is sex. But there are no deep dialogues and the ones that are meant to be deep, reveal some sexist prejudice: a friend of Emma, for instance, is obsessed by female orgasm and he thinks that it is 8 times stronger than the male one. About that, Mrs. Maroh, the author of the original comics, properly says: „But here we go, to sacralize once more womanhood in such ways. I find it dangerous“.
Moreover the realism of the framings doesn’t conform to the unrealism of the story. The couple doesn’t grow up. The social and the political difficulties are almost totally ignored or, if sketched, not discussed. Only the physical passion is showed as if to say that homosexuality is just sleeping with someone of our own sex. I guess, sex is not the problem: theoretically –and physically- we all are capable to have sex with anybody. But we can fall in love just with people who have specific characteristics. People are not homo/hetero-sexual: we are homo/hetero-lovers!
Unfortunately this movie does recall neither an intellectual pleasure nor a political necessity.