10th October 2016 8.30pm at Cineworld Haymarket
11th October 2016 3.45pm at Vue West End
Taekwondo is an original conception from the mind of Marco Berger, an Argentinean filmmaker who decided to concoct a story about homosexuality amidst a significantly macho-minded group.
A large gathering of friends that have been acquainted since boyhood, organise a get-together at a Buenos Aires villa for the summer. The host, Fernando (Lucas Papa), decides to invite a newcomer: a friend of his from taekwondo by the name of German (Gabriel Epstein) who, unbeknownst to them, is gay. So the men lounge about in what is often complete nudity while overly asserting their masculinity in their conversations – such as the women they have conquered even if they are in committed relationships and the continuous use of gay slurs – whereas Fernando and German like to remain in longing solitude.
From its outset, Taekwondo is abundant with sexual tension. Not only is that nudity a constant presence, but the camera purposely seeks it. The audience is confronted with copious close-ups of male genitals, whether they like it or not. It is often slow-paced and lengthy, though this merely contributes to the tension you feel in seeing Fernando and German, therefore benefitting the movie. It is not only them, however, who keep exchanging those ardent glances. The entire group of friends is caught doing so. It is only when the villa is visited by women that the film’s homoeroticism is altered somewhat. It likewise seems that a friend of Fernando’s is jealous of the connection between Fernando and German, this can probably be blamed on his latent homosexuality.
Taekwondo is a movie that nicely attempts to sabotage traditional male dominance and it keenly does so by appropriating exactly what supposedly makes someone a fine specimen of men. It overdoes this masculinity, and this subversion is what is pleasing about Taekwondo.
Taekwondo does not have a UK release date yet.
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Watch the trailer for Taekwondo here: