By George Karouzakis
I recently watched the movie “Call me by your name” that was directed by the Italian auteur, Luca Guadagnino. This is a film that presents, in an extraordinary way, the romantic and sexual relationship between two men, a 17-year-old boy, Elio (Timothée Chalamet), and a 24-year-old university student, Oliver (Armie Hammer). The film is based on the story of the homonymous book published in 2007 by the American writer André Aciman.
I believe it is a film of exceptional quality, which presents, with remarkable sensitivity, the deep love of two men. What is the originality of this approach? The director, with elegant and precise cinematic gestures, shows the most hidden intonations of the loving soul. The vision and the approach of the Italian director and the screenwriter James Ivory seem to have relieved the images and the dialogues of the film of all prejudices and misunderstandings regarding love between two people of the same sex that still exemplify a large part of society.
The imperceptible touches of the hands of the heroes; the exchange of spontaneous glances; the resurrection and the intensity of their emotions as they emerge on the screen, harmonized perfectly with the summer landscape; the rustling of the leaves on the trees of the country house in which they stay; the sound of water in the puddle of the garden; the song of cicadas in the calm of hot noon; the beauty of summer nature in the north of Italy.
One of my friends, from an older generation, with whom I watched the film, told me at one moment while we were watching:
– “You see, you cannot intervene and lead love and desire when you feel them with such power and clarity. They come effortlessly, unexpectedly, from the depths of the soul to the surface. All these moments are rare, almost sacred, for human existence.”
– ‘…sacred?’ I asked myself, ‘But how?’ I added.
– “ It is the moment when human existence is elevated at its height… in its uppermost mission. The kindest and more blessed in the world: the deep union with the beloved. It was the moment when everything I watched on the screen was totally coordinated with the words I listened to.”
Almost unconsciously, I thought: ‘It is less absurd in our societies to still have such hatred for this sacred feeling, for the deepest of human desires, under the pretext that these feelings and emotions are shared by people of the same sex?’
Unfortunately, these thoughts seem naive in a world where love and sexual union between two people of the same sex still cause hatred, discrimination, abuse of any kind, and most brutal murders in many countries of the world, destroying the lives of thousands of people. How many centuries or years do we still need to overcome this hatred against human existence and the flourishing of love?