“CRUISING IN THE PARK”— Bold and Explicit and NSFW

“Cruising In The Park”

Bold and Explicit and NSFW

Amos Lassen

Antonio Da Silva’s “Cruising in the Park” hit close to home. When I lived in Israel, the park was the meeting place for gay men and very often it was where sex was consummated. In both Tel Aviv and Jerusalem the parks are centrally located and it was no secret as to what went on there. The parks in other cities were notorious as well and I actually remember only one time that the police came to do anything and they were met with angry men who stood their own.

Da Silva gives us quite a look at a park where a “straight” married man habitually cruises during his lunch break. It’s convenient since the park is next to where he works. cruising in the park next to his workplace. He is both a hunter and hunted and he enjoys other married men.

“They enjoy looking at each other’s hard erections, mutual masturbation, oral and anal sex. They share short meetings in the woods and then its back to work. I understand that the film’s narration comes from the feedback that Da Silva has received about his other films which you can check out at


In this film, Da Silva teamed up with Fabio Lopes.

“Unbound: Transgender Men and the Remaking of Identity” by Arlene Stein— A New Generation

Stein, Arlene. “Unbound: Transgender Men and the Remaking of Identity”, Pantheon Books, 2018.

A New Generation

Amos Lassen

It seems to me that for the first time I have seen a large number of transmasculine individuals and I often wonder if I just never noticed before or that there is great deal more visibility than ever before. Probably both reasons are true. Admittedly, I have a difficult time understanding all that FTM trans people have to deal with and what has made this interesting to me is that my niece transitioned to become my nephew about eight years ago at the age of nearly 40.

Award-winning sociologist Arlene Stein takes us into the lives of four strangers who happened to be together at a surgeon’s office in Florida. They had traveled from across this country in order to have, what is commonly known as top surgery, or in the words of the book to masculinize their chests. We meet Ben, Lucas, Parker, Nadia who, along with their friends and family, “hope that the surgery, along with hormone treatments, will make them more comfortable in their bodies and more masculine in appearance.” 

 Transgender men make up a large, growing proportion of the trans population, yet they remain largely invisible (Perhaps they seem more visible to me because of Boston’s freedoms). Stein has done extensive research here including dozens of interviews with transgender people and with medical and psychological experts and activists and what we see is that a younger generation of trans men are challenging our assumptions about gender and they do so despite personal costs. We now much change the way that we understand the concepts of make and female in this country.

I have noticed that here in Boston when I attend meetings within the LGBT community, we begin by introducing ourselves and state the pronouns we want to use regarding our gender. This has helped me to better understand how we see ourselves and how we want the world to see us.

Our four transpeople are patients of Dr. Charles Garramone and they are preparing for the surgery that he is to perform on them. Once it was over, they and many others spoke to Stein about how they see themselves and their sexuality, how they decided to transition and how they were accepted by their families and communities. We can be sure that they have faced skepticism, ignorance, confusion and sadly, violence. Yes, the world has changed a great deal yet transpeople live at risk of violence and hate.

We read in intimate and raw detail about the lives of transgender people and we understand that as a group they were invisible in the past but are now coming into their own. They have also changed the way we, as a country, see gender, sex and identity. This is a book that will be especially welcome to those who are considering or in the process of transitioning and it is a great resource for parents, teachers and friends. Found answers to the questions I have been unable to answer and hopefully, I will become a better uncle to my nephew.

“(((Semitism))): Being Jewish in America in the Age of Trump” by Jonathan Weisman— Looking at Jewish Identity

Weisman, Jonathan. “(((Semitism))): Being Jewish in America in the Age of Trump”, St. Martin’s, 2018.

Looking at Jewish Identity

Amos Lassen

“(((Semitism))): Being Jewish in America in the Age of Trump” is Jonathan Weisman’s exploration of the disconnect between his own sense of Jewish identity and the expectations of his detractors and supporters. He looks at the rise of the alt-right, their roots in older anti-Semitic organizations, the odd antiquity of their grievances and their aims to spread hate through a political structure that has so suddenly become tolerant of their views. This is a powerful contemplation on how Jews are viewed in America since the election of Donald J. Trump, and how we can move forward to fight anti-Semitism. Lest we forget; Anti-Semitism has always been present in American culture and we feel it now with the rise of the Alt Right and the number of threats to Jewish communities since Trump took office.

When Weisman was attacked on Twitter by a group of neo-Nazis and anti-Semites, “witnessing tropes such as the Jew as a leftist anarchist; as a rapacious, Wall Street profiteer; and as a money-bags financier orchestrating war for Israel”, he began wondering if and how the Jewish experience changed, especially under a leader like Donald Trump. We now must look at anti-Semitism as part of more stressing threats while still understanding the viciousness of hate. Weisman proposes a unification of American Judaism around the defense of self and of others who are even more vulnerable than Jews, to wit— undocumented immigrants, refugees, Muslim Americans, and black activists who have been directly targeted, not just by the tolerated Alt Right, but also by the Trump White House itself.

The American Jewish experience and Weisman who was raised Reform says that he like many Jews of his generation drifted away (partly because Jews had become entirely comfortable in a pluralistic, liberal democracy that seemed to be progressing toward tolerance and acceptance and that the idea of anti-Semitism was an issue of the past). Then came the Trump campaign and the emergence of white nationalists who worked hard for Mr. Trump’s election. Jews became a target of the alt-right’s attack, forcing us to reconsider our identities in light of how we were being identified by bigots. We had the choice—we could either embrace Judaism or shun it but it was no longer something that could be ignored. There are too many Jews who have managed to have rationalize away the threat of white nationalist hate to justify political and social views that were formed before the emergence of this new reality.

We do not know whether we are living in a temporary era of intolerance or whether the progress made after the war is real or not. New democracies such as Russia and Hungary have fallen back into authoritarianism. Intolerant nationalism is on the rise around the world. As Americans, we love our institutions and traditions, and these we want to save.

Racism and anti-Semitism have always been normal in certain areas of American society. However, when the president of the United States says “very fine people” marched in Charlottesville on both sides, we see his fear of condemning the bigots who love and elected him. Today expressions of intolerance are more tolerated now than they were two years ago. Pluralism and diversity are no longer as valued as we once thought. How do we deal with the chants of “Jews will not replace us” that were heard in Charlottesville and the bigoted violence of the alt-Weisman tough on American Jews. He sees that too many of have subverted the interests of the Jewish community and the broader nation for the comfort of their present

Weisman says that the main audience of the book s the complacent Jew who has not reflected on the Jewish community’s place in America and the importance of democratic pluralism to the security of Judaism itself. But this is not a book for just Jews, it is for all Americans to be vigilant about the erosion of democratic institutions and the rise of intolerance. Weisman fears that we are moving in the direction of an American authoritarianism and that voters will overlook the affronts to the Constitution and democratic principles and decide against a change of course.

Even Democrats today have been unable to articulate a principled stand for pluralistic democracy. Now it is up to the American people to stand firm. Weisman shows us how hatred can slowly and quietly erode the moral fabric of society. Today bigotry and oppression longer hide and do not fear reproach. Weisman gives us a manifesto that outlines the dangers of marginalization and demonization of minority groups, not just Jews.

The “new anti-Semitism” is hundreds of years old and what distinguishes the alt-right from its predecessors is its method of organization, its technological knowledge, “its sarcasm and irony, and its ability to at least seem ubiquitous.” By spreading its ideology on the Internet and through social media, the alt-right has become unavoidable. It is no longer an invisible subculture. It is now disseminating its ideology and while many reject it. Most young people reject it, there will always be those who will be drawn to the instruments of hate. Weisman shares his own Jewish identity and about the rise of anti-Semitism and he calls upon American Jews “to unite around the defense of self and others.”

“A chilling look at anti-Semitism in America in the wake of Donald Trump’s political ascendancy…a thoughtful and deeply personal account.” ―Publisher’s Weekly

The Routledge History of Queer America” edited by Don Romesburg— A Comprehensive Synthesis

Romesburg, Don, editor. “The Routledge History of Queer America”, Routledge, 2018.

A Comprehensive Synthesis

Amos Lassen

It seems that every year we get a new “comprehensive” gay history and each claims to be what the others are not. Such is what living in the free world allows. But then the same is true for any history—there are always newer and more comprehensive being written every year. So what makes “The Routledge History of Queer America” special? It gives us the first comprehensive synthesis of the rapidly developing field of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer US history. Featuring nearly thirty chapters, each by a different writer, on essential subjects and themes from colonial times through the present, this collection covers such topics as:

  • Rural vs. urban queer histories
  • Gender and sexual diversity in early American history
  • Intersectionality, exploring queerness in association with issues of race and class
  • Queerness and American capitalism
  • The rise of queer histories, archives, and collective memory
  • Transnationalism and queer history

The history is a coming together of authorities in the field who define the ways in which sexual and gender diversity have contributed to the dynamics of American society, culture and nation making “The Routledge History of Queer America” an excellent overview of the history of the queer experience in US history. Here is a look at Table of Contents:

Introduction: Having a Moment Four Decades in the Making

Don Romesburg


Times1 Colonial North America (1600s–1700s)

Richard Godbeer

2 Revolutionary Sexualities and Early National Genders (1770s–1840s)

Rachel Hope Cleves

3 Centering Slavery in Nineteenth-Century Queer History (1800s–1890s)

Clare Sears

4 Modern Sexuality in Modern Times (1880s–1930s)

Elizabeth Clement and Beans Velocci

5 Sexual Minorities at the Apex of Heteronormativity (1940s–1965)

Amanda H. Littauer

6 Gay Liberation (1963–1980)

Whitney Strub

7 AIDS and Action (1980–1990s)

Jennifer Brier

8 Queer Politics in Neoliberal Times (1970–2010s)

Margot Weiss


Spaces and Places

9 Queer Archives: From Collections to Conceptual Framework

Kate Eichhorn

10 Bodies

avid Serlin

11 Organizations

Marcia M. Gallo

12 The End of Urban Queer History?

Kwame Holmes

13 Rural

Pippa Holloway and Elizabeth Catte

14 Queer and Nation

Eithne Luibhéid

15 Thinking Transnationally, Thinking Queer

Emily K. Hobson



16 Language, Acts, and Identity in LGBT History

Jen Manion

17 Transgender History (and Otherwise Approaches to Queer Embodiment)

Finn Enke

18 Lesbian History: Spirals of Imagination, Marginalization, and Creation

Julie R. Enszer

19 Bisexual History: Let’s Not Bijack Another Century

Loraine Hutchins

20 Queer of Color Estrangement and Belonging

Nayan Shah

21 Families

Daniel Rivers

22 Sickness and Wellness

Katie Batza

23 Criminalization and Legalization

Andrea J. Ritchie and Kay Whitlock

24 Law and Politics: “Crooked and Perverse” Narratives of LGBT Progress

Marc Stein

25 Labor

Sara R. Smith-Silverman

26 Consumerism

Stephen Vider

27 Queer Performance and Popular Culture

Sharon Ullman

28 Public History and Queer Memory

Lara Kelland

“The Sea Beast Takes a Lover: Stories” by Michael Andreasen— Hope, Love and Loss

Andreasen, Michael. “The Sea Beast Takes a Lover: Stories”, Dutton, 2018.

Hope, Love and Loss

Amos Lassen

Michael Andreasen’s “The Sea Beast Takes a Lover is a collection of odd stories that are basically about the need for connection and understanding through the use of the supernatural and extraordinary. They explore hope, love and loss and are enchanting and endearing even though they are written in a surreal way. Beneath the veneer of surrealism, we see what it means to navigate family, faith, and longing. What I love about stories like this is that they make us think as we try to understand where the author is going. Through the introduction of such characters as sea monsters, ghosts of Catholic saints, and teenagers enjoying life, we get stories that are filled with emotions and that show us universal understandings and desires in ways we have not considered before. As we read we see the line between the speculative and the satirical.

The prose is lush and lyrical in the eleven stories that make up the collection. Each story balances fantasy and reality making it difficult to see which is which and while this is speculative fiction, it is also more than that.

As we read of mermaids, prophetic dancing bears, exploding children, and distraught time travelers, we see that we are also reading about love and loss and what caring for others really means. The stories take on new and varied meanings with each rereading and this is the kind of book that you want to keep nearby because you will do just that; read and reread the stories.

It is Andreasen’s wonderful imagination and command of the English language that makes for such a fun and excellent read. If you have ever wondered how a story can be urgent and timeless at the same time, then you need to read any of these stories. We see that often there is hope that comes with heartbreak and dreams that come with nightmares as Andreasen pits opposite against each other.

One of the beautiful things about being human is that we want to know “why”. We do not get answers here but we get many questions to think about. While the stories almost all deal with the fantastic, you will be amazed at the variety of tales that we get. Paternal pressures, the terror of stasis, our jealous hunger for love are examples of three of the themes here. What all of the stories share is a new way to see the world though Andreasen’s subversion of the narrative form as he plays with conventional story telling.

I am not a fan of short stories (regardless, I do have my favorites) but after reading this, my opinion might just change. You will obviously notice that I did not summarize any of the stories or single any of them out as personal favorites. I leave that to you who have yet to have the reading experience.

“Clinging to the Iceberg: Writing for a Living on the Stage and in Hollywood” by Ron Hutchinson— Anecdotes and Real Experiences

Hutchinson, Ron. “Clinging to the Iceberg: Writing for a Living on the Stage and in Hollywood”,  (with a foreword by Brian Denehy), Oberon Books, 2017.

Anecdotes and Real Experiences

Amos Lassen

Ron Hutchinson is an award-winning screenwriter who has had quite a career and here he shares stories, anecdotes and real experiences from throughout his career. He has known and worked with famous films and people such as Marlon Brando, Elizabeth Taylor, Tom Cruise and David Hockney. This is a very funny book that is also very helpful for would be screenwriters. Hutchinson has been awarded Emmy, Ace and Drama Desk Awards, has worked with many big name stars and has taught at the American Film Institute for thirty years and has even been paid by Dreamworks not to work for them. Aside from the Hollywood stories and gossip, we get valuable tips on writing, rewriting and editing and a strong warning that the screenwriting business is craziness personified.

Hutchinson has now left California to live in Brooklyn where he is renovating a brownstone and becoming an Irish-American. He shares a near-death experience on Venice Beach, and struggling to stay sane on location on one of the great movie flops of all time. He gives us a kind of a checklist for writers to look at before deciding if a draft’s complete.

What follows are some of the things you’re looking for when you read each draft. Those of us who write know that the “process is messy, with mis-steps and false starts”. I often find myself thinking how I can write a good and interesting review of a book or movie that did nothing for me and sometimes it is not enough to say that the costumes are pretty, the soundtrack is melodic or that the prose is lyrical when there is really nothing to like.

I often have powerful arguments with myself about what I write. I was determined to be the kind of reviewer that could always find something good to say and I believe I have succeeded in that but with a bit of fibbing. Hutchinson says that what a writer has to do is get that first sentence out read and reread it and hopefully the rest will follow. He also says that one should only write for three hours a day on a project and here I have to disagree since three hours for me is usually warm-up time. But then I reread what he said and I believe that he is correct that after three hours it is okay to continue but on a different project.

I loved reading about one of my favorite stars of all time, Elizabeth Taylor and Hutchinson’s story about writing a commercial for her. I was once lucky to stay within ten feel of her when she came to Israel with Richard Burton and went to the wall. Her beauty nearly knocked the breath out of me. This is both a fun and useful read especially for beginners who get advice from a master. Take your time and read slowly so that you can enjoy every word.

“The Lurid Sea” by Tom Cardamone— Literary Smut (And That’s a Good Thing!)

Cardamone, Tom. “The Lurid Sea”, Bold Strokes Books, 2018

Literary Smut (And That’s a Good Thing!)

Amos Lassen

I always look forward to a new book by Tom Cardamone because he always surprises. This time with “The Lurid Sea”, he brings us erotica but it is unique erotica— what I usually refer to as literary smut. However, it is not as “blue” as some may think because the prose is both poetic and lyrical yet racy and off-color at the same time. We got back to the age of mythology and read a story about a lesser god who is trapped in time and trapped by time. There is really no plot but that’s fine because this is a novel of ideas and a story of time and all the elements that make up time including love and death, desire and yearning, hunger and sin.

But the plot isn’t the focus here. It is also a novel about knowledge. And yes, it is vulgarly crass but it is also written in glorious prose. It is an orgy that takes us through space and time in a world where there are many men creatures and gods. We meet the godling Nerites who has dwelled for centuries in a shifting sexual paradise and who has jumped from one sexual encounter to the next and from one time and one place to other times and other places. His dark half-brother Obsidio kisses and kills his victims forcing Nerites to become defender of the places where men meet other men for fun and sex. What had once been so pleasurable now has become a race across time and history. Here is ancient Rome like we have never seen it before.

Cardamone gives some very bold descriptions of both oral sex and the male body (he has done his research well) allowing us to see depravity and decadence as well as unbridled happiness between men who love men.

Neptune, the father of Nerites cursed him by making him roam among bathhouse all over the world and in all times (a great curse but a very tiring one). Nerites is a champion at giving oral sex using the skills he learned as a young man through curiosity, exploration and abuse from Obsidio, the son of Pluto and his own half-brother. Not all is fun and sex here and we get a very strong allegory about the AIDS epidemic with Obsidio killing everyone with fatal ebony sperm. This metaphor is so powerful that we are brought back to the world of today with this metaphor. I have stated several times that I do not really enjoy reading erotica (and I have my reasons why) but aside from the actions of Obsidio, I had a great time reading this. The dose of reality that comes with Obsidio knocks us back into the real world and if this story has a moral, we would find it here.

“The Affliction: A Novel” by C. Dale Young— Telling Stories

Young, C. Dale. “The Affliction: A Novel in Stories”, Four Way Books, 2018.

Telling Stories

Amos Lassen

Dale Young’s “The Affliction” is a novel that is told in short stories that bring together people who are not want they seem to be. We meet Javier Castillo who was born with the ability to disappear; Rosa Blanco who sits in her small kitchen musing over a moment from the past over and over again and Leenck who is aware of his impending death, but no one is aware of him. These and other characters are the people who live quiet lives, the kind of people that we never hear about and rarely, if ever see. They now move forward in lyrical prose. They hide and their lack of visibility affects those who love them and those who fear them. Most of us live in the present and have knowledge of the past and thoughts about the future. Some are obsessive bout the past and in fear of the future and some just are in the present.

Stories like people in that we can take each differently and in many cases we do so based upon our own life experiences. In communities of marginalized people, the ability to disappear comes with the marginalization. Like the stories in which these characters appear, they are unpredictable and varied. Then we realize that the way we know people, is often through the stories we hear about them but what about those that we do not hear about? These are the people that C. Dale Young introduces us too and as he does, we take them in. The stories are linked and we are taken to visit places where, like I said, we ordinarily would not go. What is so beautiful here is that in reading these stories, we actually experience them and they are transformative. I want you to see that I make this claim without telling a word about any of the stories because I do not think it is fair to do so. I want the stories to affect you the way they have affected me as personal thoughts. Every person will find something in these stories to identify with or to even call his/her/their own.

Our memories of the past differ as they should since we do not share a personal past. My past, for example, includes personal experiences that I prefer to keep personal and yet that past can be haunting and it can also be beautiful. Most of us are unable to tell as story the way Young does here. These stories share history and heart and while set in the Latino community, they could be set anywhere and at anytime. In rereading what I have said here, I realize that on one hand I have not said much and on the other, perhaps I have said too much but that is what we, philosophers, do. It is my goal to get you to take a look at “The Affliction: and taste its glorious prose. I think that once you do, like Javier Castillo, you will disappear for a while as you read what is here. Do not expect to close the covers and walk away from the book. It will stay with you and you will consider and reconsider what you have read.

“THE JUDGE”— The First Female Sharia Judge



“The Judge”

The First Female Sharia Judge

Amos Lassen

Erika Cohn’s “The Judge” is a captivating documentary about the first female Sharia judge in the history of the Middle East, Kholoud Faqih. It’s particularly interesting that this documentary, which takes us into Palestinian life and culture is directed by an American Jewish filmmaker. This combination of cultural diversity and conspicuous female presence on both sides of the camera is exciting and we can hope that it will start a new trend. Once we see Faqih, we connect to her. She is a person with great charisma and intelligence who immediately pulls us into her. We also sense her confidence.

After studying law, Faqih had worked as an attorney until she decided to become a judge. When she informed the Chief Justice, Sheikh Tayseer Al-Tamimi about her decision to do so, he thought it was a joke. But Faqih was serious and supported her choice with lawful evidence and passed the exam with the highest honors.

Faqih was appointed a judge in the Sharia Court of Ramallah, the West Bank. In Palestine, people follow the Hanafi School of Islamic law, which allows women to be judges. In fact, Palestinian women have ruled in the country’s criminal courts since the 1980’s. However, Faqih is the first female judge to be appointed in the Sharia court, which deals primarily with domestic and family matters. She argues that it’s judicious to have a female judge in the Islamic court as domestic situations are incredibly important and pertinent to women. This changed the status quo and broke the deadlock of confining women to traditional roles. Faqih has numerous supporters, many of whom are women. She is a nonconformist and her perseverance embodies Palestine’s desire for change. Her story shows her country’s obstinacy against social reforms.

The media claims Faqih’s career move as “revolutionary,” yet some local authorities are not so ready to welcome her in this new position. While Sharia law permits female judges, a few Sharia scholars refuse to accept it. Dr. Husam Al-Deen Afanah is a recognized Palestinian professor and Islamic scholar. He is a conservative thinker and a strong believer in gender roles and argues that women are bound to limited vocations due to their biological susceptibilities. Afanah has also repeatedly criticized the expansion of women’s civil liberties, including Faqih’s advancement as a judge.

Afanah is representative of a substantial fraction of Palestinians and has a huge following online. While his interpretations of Islam might contradict some of the actual Sharia laws, he is highly respected by many. His way of thinking is a reflection of and conforms to the traditional ideas about women and femininity, which increases his high esteem in many peoples’ eyes. The Chief Justice says that in Palestine traditions are so strong that they overtake the actual Sharia laws. Nonetheless the entire documentary revolves around the Sharia courts and actual Islamic law is rarely mentioned here. Religion has little to do with the antagonistic reaction many have expressed against Faqih’s appointment. Gender roles are deeply entrenched in Palestinian culture. Women are repeatedly stereotyped, and femininity is often perceived as a threat.

According to Faqih, the problem is that society still views women as objects. This kind of mentality corrupts the justice system, even when it comes to the Islamic law. Islamic religious education is also shocking in the way it sees women. Even thoughthe film is culturally specific, its topic is globally ubiquitous. Its narrative quickly escalates beyond courtroom drama conventions, offering shocking and distressing revelations. As we watch the film, we begin to realize that it is a social critique of Palestinian prevalent chauvinism. We learn of the stories of horrific abuse perpetuated against Palestinian women and become aware of the juridical negligence concerning women’s issues. The film authenticates the need for women like Faqih in Palestine’s justice system. Aside from getting an overview of Sharia law and a brief look at Islamic feminism, the film also gives us an all-encompassing and uplifting portrayal of Palestine’s people and culture. We see the bustling streets of the West bank and the region’s traditions and atmosphere. There are several street interviews and we hear public political sentiments. Director Cohn takes us into the peaceful households of Faqih and Al-Tamimi and through everyday conversations and small court hearings, we learn about the country’s current political landscape and the on-going conflict with Israel.

Through the story of one woman, we are introduced to a world where modernity and tradition come together to produce a beautiful and yet incomplete creation. The film is a tribute to brave, intelligent and inspiring women like Faqih, “whose relentless dedication and humanity will help to shape a more inclusive future.”

“A VIOLENT LIFE”— Punishment and Crime


Punishment and Crime

Amos Lassen

Thierry de Peretti’s “A Violent Life” focuses on the violent nationalist struggles that plagued Corsica, throughout the 1990s. In 1997, Stéphane (Jean Michelangeli), an 18-year old Corsican student ends up in prison because of his friendship with a small group of delinquents lands him in prison. The film explores his transformation from a middle-class youth with conventional aspirations to a radicalized activist with dangerous ties. This is a haunting story of a young man’s rise and fall that is set in the unique social and cultural climate of Corsica, a land divided that has one foot stuck in Italy, another in France and its own folkloric history. The film rests somewhere between Corsican nationalism and crime.

Since the move to armed conflict by the National Liberation Front of Corsica in 1976, many dissident events, fratricidal wars and serious crime have reinforced the opacity that national media manage to report on once in a while and then by speaking about nights filled with explosives and murders. The filmmaker here tries to fill in what we do not really know about the Corsican independence movement that has seen invisible maneuvers, reconciliations, conflicts and betrayals that end in bloodshed and hide political radicalism. The film begins in Paris in 2001, when Stéphane learns of the death of a relative and decides to g home to Corsica for the funeral. Then, in flashback, we go to Bastia, to the prison where Stephane is seduced by the independentist discourse of his prison mates and especially by the leader François. After his release, Stéphane acts as an intermediary between his criminal friends who agree to work for this new nationalist movement, albeit without any “official” role and with the freedom to continue their illegal activities. This small group is able to create explosive chaos on demand but this leads to them disturbing other hidden, Mafia forces that are trying to gain control of the island’s economy. Francois is well aware of this and he receives threats. However, if Francois falls, the fate of Stéphane and his friends will be sealed because they are only pawns and puppets in a much bigger game. The film viewers see a clinical representation of a mess and suggestive portrait of a highly impenetrable local panorama and begins to understand the circumstances of the dominant conflict as a macrocosm through Stephane’s journey. This resulted in his being given a death threat yet despite that

, Stéphane decides to return to Corsica to attend the funeral of his childhood friend who has been murdered the day before. It is the occasion for him to remember the events that saw move from being one of the petty bourgeois from Bastia, delinquency to political radicalism and underground. We see that on the island of Corsica, young people do not know where to belong and find a way to be useful by going against the government by being militant. They are into racketeering, prostitution and dealing drugs raise money for the cause. In the beginning of the film you see Stephane in Paris when he receives the phone call that his childhood body has been murdered. This bring back memories of when there were a lot of confusion about what they wanted to do with the cause and where it was supposed to go. The director uses real footage of the National Liberation Front of Corsica and mixes it in to the story story. We see how nice student from a good family ends up in a Marxist revolutionary cell bent on asserting Nationalist goals against encroaching Mafia-style powers-that-be.

Opening words on screen explain that the citizens of Corsica have protested the covetous and disrespectful outside influence since the island was sold to France by Genoa in 1768. In the 1990s political resistance faced lethal opposition from criminal elements that built up increasingly objectionable ways of putting pressure on local residents and resources and decided to fight back, And so, intent on preventing their beautiful island from going the way of Sicily or the French Riviera, there were those who decided to fight back. 

We see Stephane when he was just a typical apolitical young man attending university. His path toward armed resistance began by being born Corsican, but it intensified when he agreed to transport a duffel bag full of weapons for friends. Unfortunately the weapons in question were used in terrorist attacks and traced to him and he is sentenced to prison where he remains stoic and bookish but is singled out by older, not at all intellectual men who supplement his thinking and raise his consciousness.

Stephane is smart enough to know that the situation he finds himself in is not what he imagined when he set out to correct the imbalances as a result of colonization.