Week 8

Rahul K. Gairola’s article Capitalist Houses, Queer Homes: National Belonging and Transgressive Erotics in My Beautiful Laundrette, he explores the themes of My Beautiful Laundrette that revolve around the idea of “home”, both as a main site of heteronormativity and also as a site of resistance against it, as people manipulate and change the idea of home as a physical and ideological idea. I see parallels between My Beautiful Laundrette and Fox and His Friends in that the movies deal with how queer characters exist within a capitalist society, however My Beautiful Laundrette deals more with the national rhetoric of racism and queer oppression within a neoliberal political atmosphere in England and places these characters in the broader world, showing their existence in and resistance to Thatcherism. Gairola writes that “Johnny and Omar, an interracial, gay couple, radically resist such qualified calls for belonging in their new ‘home’ country by rejecting traditional home spaces that re-inscribe capitalist logic by privileging patriarchal heteronormativity” (Gairola 51). The article shows how the movie shows the intersectionality of racism, xenophobia, and homophobia in the way it portrays different types of people, such as the white nationalist Johnny and the South Asian descended Omar, as they resist the growing national rhetoric of exclusion disguised as a preservation of “family values” and a traditional idea of “home”. This is a departure from the kinds of ideas in previous films we have watched in class as it grapples with the collision of multiple social issues and moves away from the whiteness of the queer cinema we have seen before in class.

Sources:

Gairola, Rahul K. “Capitalist Houses, Queer Homes: National Belonging and Transgressive             Erotics In My Beautiful Laundrette.” South Asian Popular Culture 7.1 (2009): 37-54.                   Print.

 

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