At the recommendation of a friend I recently sampled the YouTube LGBTQ short film scene. I watched several, but it was the one my friend introduced me to that really caught my attention. Love Is All You Need? is set in a hypothetical world, in which gay is the norm, and straight people, variously known as ‘heteros’, ‘queers’ and ‘breeders’, are outcasts of society, regarded as sinful and against nature. The film chronicles the growing up to adolescence of Ashley, a girl who dares to take an interest in the opposite sex.
It has been said of dystopian novels that they reflect not the society they describe, but the society they are written in, and this same theory applies forcefully to this hypothetical universe. The parallels are well enforced: comments by various characters, a religious sermon, graffiti and several shots of protestors carrying signs directly parodying those of the Westboro Baptist Church, to the effect of ‘GOD HATES BREEDERS’ etc., all help to create a horrifyingly familiar situation. The staggering baselessness and irrationality of real-life homophobia is beautifully captured by copying and pasting the same ideas into an antithetical situation. I shudder to think that it is perhaps only once they hear one of Ashley’s mothers comment on the ‘breeders’ moving in up the street (‘it’s a sin, it makes me sick just thinking about it’), and her instruction to Ashley to take a different route to school in the mornings to avoid their influence, that some viewers may realise the true nature of homophobia: here can be seen its total absence of logic or rational basis; it is an entirely emotional gut reaction, thought out to a minimal extent.
Continuing throughout the film is the idea that the whole situation is Ashley’s fault. Twice, when unspeakable acts of bullying are carried out on her, she is just scathingly told to clean herself up, and neither her parents nor her teacher give her any help or do much to comfort her. This is one of the most shocking details, besides the less subtle scenes of violence and condemnation, in the film, and gives a truly profound message about the way homosexuals are labelled, named and shamed in the real world.
The acting in this film is incredible, the writing powerful, the screenplay terrible and beautiful. Its message is an effective one on as important a social issue as exists in the Western world. As a concise, satirical fable, it is close to flawless. However, viewer discretion is advised: the film is extremely graphic in parts, and extremely upsetting.
See the film: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XCoFoKvfc6Y