La Race d’Ep! (a.k.a. The Homosexual Century)
Director: Guy Hocquenghem & Lionel Soukaz
Format: 16mm transfer to video
Duration: 95 min
“I was walking down a lost street on the outskirts of the city, looking for a public restroom of ill repute. Two hoods were hanging around under a bridge, leaning against their motorbikes. As I walked past, they yelled out (not nastily): “Race d’Ep!”
As I was drunk, it took me a while to get it—inverts do not speak verlan [French slang that involves inverting the syllables of words]— “Rasdep,” for “pédéraste” [homosexual]. At that moment, I felt flittering behind me the shadow of another species. I experienced their appellation less as an insult than as the evidence of my belonging to another world, another History.”
– Guy Hocquenghem
La Race d’Ep, directed by the French experimental filmmaker Lionel Soukaz and written in collaboration with theorist and political activist Guy Hocquenghem, is queer theory as film. Shot in 1979 and inspired by Michael Foucault’s writings on the history of sexuality and the daily experiences of its creators, La Race d’Ep makes visible the possible fragments of a homosexual continuum that has been concealed by history. Structured in four parts––1890, Le Temps de la Pose, 1930, Le Troisième Sexe, 1960, Sweet Sixteen in the Sixties, 1980, Royal Opéra––the film plays with capturing the creation, imposed and critically recuperated, of [mainly male] homosexual subjectivity. Censored in France after its release and scarcely distributed in the US, this rare gem of queer experimental cinema will be presented and introduced by Clara López Menéndez.
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