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Chant d'Amour, Un
(Chant d'Amour, Un)

UN CHANT D’AMOUR is a cinematic landmark that French writer Jean Genet directed in 1950. The short film was Jean Genet’s only film and in the past years the film was long banned and has never received a proper theatrical release as the director later denounced the film – the reason is unknown.

Genet, who had never made a film before, had a great command of film style vocabulary. To some fetishistic close-ups of hairy chests, armpits, feet, crotches, and necks might seem a little outré and verging on the pornographic, but in the director’s hands the shots became visual stanzas of an intensely erotic poem.

The plot is set in a French prison, where a prison guard takes voyeuristic pleasure in observing the prisoners perform masturbatory sexual acts. In two adjacent cells, there are an older Algerian-looking man and a handsome convict in his twenties. The older man is in love with the younger one, rubbing himself against the wall and sharing his cigarette smoke with his beloved through a straw.


The prison guard, apparently jealous of the prisoner's relationship, enters the older convict's cell, beats him, and makes him suck on his gun in an unmistakably sexual fashion. But the inmate drifts off into a fantasy where he and his object of desire roam the countryside. In the final scene it becomes clear that the guard's power is no match for the intensity of attraction between the prisoners, even though their relationship is not consummated.



András Hamary

  Ensemble (1 - 15 Musicians)    
flute, bass, piano
sync fps