God’s own country (2017), Francis Lee

Life happens in the unexpected corners of the world, and we need local voices in literature and cinema from which may all the gaps between all beings be filled.

A Vietnamese gay man might ask, how is it to be gay in the rural area of England, filling days with farming jobs and befriending no one but cows? Francis Lee answered that question with God’s own country.

Embracing such a quiet life in the countryside, with no college, no parade and no gay bars somehow makes people like Johnny become bitter with life and with others. His young years would have been wasted on dull work, binge drinking, and solitude if Gheorghe did not show up and showed him how sweet this life could be.

Like Ennis and Jack in Brokeback mountain, Gheorghe and Johnny have an unvoiced relationship. They exchanged love with no verbal expression. They had sex in a pretty strange way, rough and brutal, and it was Gheorghe who taught Johnny that sex could also be tender.

Gheorghe’s reluctance when Johnny asked him to stay derives from not only the fact that their relationship could be disapproved in a somewhat conservative neighborhood but also from the fact that Gheorghe is a Romanian migrant, pejoratively called ‘gypsy’, who are discriminated against for hundreds of years in Europe. They often live in caravans and lead a nomadic lifestyle, for they own no homeland.

[…]

But at the end of the day, they reconciled; the ‘faggot’ Johnny and the ‘gypsy’ Gheorghe made their own way to survive in God’s own country.

(to be revised)