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Föreningen Film i Malmö presents
Bruce La Bruce
Set in the recent, unenlightened past of 1999, Bruce LaBruce’s comedy “The Misandrists” opens quaintly as a male anticapitalist rebel on the run interrupts a kiss between two schoolgirl feminists.
Even with its tongue planted firmly in cheek, “The Misandrists” is an unmistakably political film, but its aims are not to echo the goals of the fictional Female Liberation Army. Instead Mr. LaBruce utilizes camp, that unifying language of queer cinema, to undermine the credos of trans-exclusionary radical feminism. His actors are colorfully styled as lesbian archetypes, with soft butches sprinkled in among the eye-shadowed punks and earth mothers. Their recitations of Big Mother’s doctrines are stiff, encouraging the audience to doubt the sincerity of their cause.
Mr. LaBruce’s irony only ceases when he shows his characters languishing in the fluidity of their erotic desires. Sex is depicted with graphic frankness in “The Misandrists,” and it is through sex — through the amorphous demands of the body — that these characters first encounter the limitations of their ideology. Lesbians find subversive inspiration in gay male pornography, trans women experience and inspire passion for both men and women, and even straight men are only one liaison (and one surgery) away from enlightenment. With “The Misandrists,” Mr. LaBruce announces, here is queer cinema: confrontational, pansexual, gender-fluid, racially inclusive, angry and surprisingly romantic. (Excerpt by