By George Karouzakis
I recently saw the film “Call me by your name” by the Italian director, Luca Guadagnino. It is a film that portrays 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 book of the same name, published in 2007 by the American writer André Aciman.
I believe it is a film of exceptional quality, depicting with remarkable sensitivity the deep love of two men. What is the originality of this approach? The director shows the most hidden intonations of the loving soul with elegant and precise cinematic gestures.
The vision and approach of the Italian director and the screenwriter James Ivory seem to have freed the images and the dialogues of the film from all the prejudices and misunderstandings about love between two people of the same sex that still characterize a large part of society.
The imperceptible touches of the heroes’ hands, the exchange of spontaneous glances, the revival and intensity of their emotions as they appear on the screen, combine in perfect harmony with the summer landscape.
The rustling of leaves on the trees of the country house where they live; the sound of water in the puddle of the garden meets the song of cicadas in the silence of the hot noon. Excellent opportunity to discover the beauty of summer nature and human love in splendid landscapes of northern Italy.
One of my friends, from an older generation, with whom I was watching the film, said to me at one moment while we were watching the film:
– “You see, you can’t intervene and direct love and desire when you feel them with such power and clarity. They come effortlessly, unexpectedly, from the depths of your soul to the surface. These moments are rare, almost sacred, to human existence.”
– ‘…Sacred? But how? I asked
– ‘’It is the moment when human existence is at its peak, at its highest mission. The most beautiful and blessed thing in the world: deep union with the Beloved.
It was the moment when everything I saw on the screen perfectly matched the words I heard.”
Almost unconsciously I thought, “Isn’t it absurd that there is still much hatred in our society for this sacred feeling, for the deepest of human longings, 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 all kinds, and brutal murders in many countries of the world, destroying the lives of thousands of people.
How many more years do we need to overcome this hatred against human existence and the flourishing of love?