This Explicit Film About a Group Hookup Marks a Major Shift in Taiwanese Gay Film
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Asia’s first LGBTQ streaming service GagaOOLala recently announced the release of “Sodom’s Cat,” a short dramatic feature that reportedly shows an sexually explicit orgy between five young Taiwainese men (and the emotional consequences that follow). The short marks a historic first for Taiwanese cinema — particularly for director Huang Ting-Chun, a filmmaker who was tired of only seeing explicit gay sex in movies made elsewhere — and particularly for a country that just recently legislated in favor of nationwide marriage equality.
“Sodom’s Cat” follows a young man named Sun who gets invited to an orgy on a dating app. When he shows up, he encounters a situation he’s never experienced before: an intense sexual scenario with four other men. But despite everyone’s best efforts, Sun just can’t seem to get turned on. And as the host takes him aside, it’s unclear if Sun even knows what he truly desires.
Here is a slightly NSFW trailer for “Sodom’s Cat”:
In a recent interview, director Ting-Chun said that he wanted to explore sex and hookup culture in an honest way so that viewers could see their desires and emotions expressed onscreen without feeling ashamed or sleazy. He said:
I want to discuss this topic because it is core to gay culture nowadays. With the quick development of social networks, gay people can now be open about their sexual orientation without the embarrassment of barking at the wrong tree. Therefore, gays have become one of the biggest groups on personal social networks, and they use it as a place where they can get what they want.
He also said that each guy in the film represents a different animal: a bear, a dog, a peacock, a wolf and (of course) the titular cat.
Sodom, as you may know, is the name of the rapacious Biblical town infamously destroyed by the Judeo-Christian God for its wickedness. While Sodom later transformed into the English word for anal sex (sodomy), it has also become a place synonymous with gay hedonism and excess.
Here are some sexy film stills from “Sodom’s Cat”:
The film comes at a time when LGBTQ activists are starting to make headway in Taiwan and beyond. In May 2017, Taiwan’s Constitutional Council voted in favor of marriage equality, against the organizing of anti-LGBTQ social and religious groups.
Observers say the decision could have repercussions throughout the region. South Korean and Japanese LGBTQ groups have also been clamoring for marriage equality. Last year, nearby Hong Kong won its bid to host the 2022 Gay Games, an international sporting event that mark its first time in Asia and help boost the visibility of LGBTQ people on the world stage.
Ting-Chun’s film shows that gay Taiwanese film viewers are ready for more honest and frank depictions of their lives onscreen. Sadly, GagaOOLala only streams its films in Southeast Asia, so other audiences will have to wait a while before they can view “Sodom’s Cat.”
What do you think of “Sodom’s Cat”? Sound off in the comments.