In Pride Month, a look at ‘Kanarie’, a South African coming-of-age (and coming-out) drama

Posted on June 13, 2019


Read the full article on Firstpost, here:

Among other things, Christiaan Olwagen’s South African drama Kanarie is about the importance of role models. The people around us — family, friends, teachers — they’re all good. But it’s something else when a public figure, especially one you adore, legitimises what you are. Johan adores Boy George, the Culture Club frontman whose androgynous looks have already led to much speculation about his sexuality. But it’s 1985, and the singer is still in the closet. One evening, when Johan is playing the piano, trying to sing Culture Club’s Do You Really Want to Hurt Me, Wolfgang comes by and joins him. This is the boy Johan has shared a kiss with, one that was rudely interrupted by a knock on the door. But that kiss has sown doubts in Johan’s mind.

Johan tells Wolfgang that the first time he saw a picture of Boy George, the heading read: “Effeminate men – is this the future?” He recalls the time at school when his friend Gavin brought a tape recorder and they used to keep playing the song, Boy Boy (I’m the Boy). Johan was obsessed. He started collecting everything: articles, interviews, reviews, pictures, everything. Wolfgang asks, “Why specifically him?” Johan, first, says he doesn’t know. Then he says, “Because I hoped that somewhere he’d just admit that… that…” Finally, he finds the courage to say the words, “That he’s gay. That he likes men, and that Jon Moss [the group’s drummer] is his boyfriend. I just thought that if he admitted it, it will somehow make it okay.” But that, of course, did not happen at the time. In one of his most famous interviews, Boy George said: “I prefer a nice cup of tea to sex.”

Continued at the link above.

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