The Consul of Sodom  {El Consul de Sodoma}
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The Consul of Sodom
El Consul de Sodoma

Spain, 2009, 110 Minute Running Time
US Premiere
Genre/Subjects: Biography / History, Drama, Gay
Program: World Cinema
Language: Spanish

DIRECTOR: Sigfrid Monleón

At the beginning of The Consul of Sodom, Spanish writer Jaime Gil de Biedma is asked, “Is it true you’re a poet?” He responds flirtatiously, “I’d prefer to be thought of as a poem.”

This lust for life and experience, portrayed with remarkable frankness in the film, often causes controversy for the impassioned scribe, who comes of age in a wealthy family living under Francisco Franco’s fascist regime. Though Gil de Biedma has at least one major love affair with a woman, his primary relationships are with men, and his refusal to sublimate his sexuality is frowned on by his parents, revolutionary friends and peers.

Nevertheless, the writer’s desire to exist fully and freely remains a constant, and the film echoes its protagonist’s joie de vivre with its own vibrancy. This cinematic energy is matched by the lead performance of Jordi Mollá, who plays the poet with intensity, humor and an irresistibly sexy cockiness. Whether Gil de Biedma is scoping out guys in Manila, participating in a four-way in Barcelona, or discussing the writing life in an elegant salon, Mollá gives us an exquisite portrait that rivals and resembles Javier Bardem’s in Before Night Falls.

The Consul of Sodom incited a scandal at Spain’s Goya Awards for its matter-of-fact explicit content and treatment of this national hero. Immaculately filmed and humorous in its fully realized portrait of a picaresque figure, this marvelously entertaining work depicts a fascinating writer whose life we are unlikely to forget. — ROD ARMSTRONG

Text Voting Code: F139


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