27 Oct 2006

Eliminating 'Difference': C.R.A.Z.Y.

Directed by Jean-Marc Vallée, C.R.A.Z.Y. captured a young gay man's early life in 1970s Montreal. Being gay is hard, and that means 'being different', whether you live in the 70s or now, in Montreal or anywhere else.

I saw this film couple days ago, and the topic, difference, attracts and entices me. Imagine yourself born on Christmas day. Doesn't this make you different enough? Zachary, the main character in this film, is such a blessed child. He survived from his father's carelessness, dropping him on the floor on the day of his birth. Consequently, his mother started telling him and others that he has special healing power from God. All mothers are the same, and they just love their kids. However, this causes troubles to little Zac. His birthday is always a big family reunion, and when whoever is bleeding, he has to pray to heal them.

Zac is not just different in this way. The director highlights 'difference' in the mental development of Zac's childhood. Every father expects his boy to be like him, a real man. Little Zac failed his father's expect when he was accidentlly caught wearing his mother's pearl necklace and lipstick. He was only trying to be mom taking care of his baby brother. This is not acceptable for all dads, especially this one who has five boys. His father tried so hard to convince himself that Zac is a normal boy. He always paid good attention to what Zac likes and gives him related presents on his birthday. However, what little Zac wanted is the present the girls have in the next room, and he wished he could go and play with them instead of staying with others listening to his father singing Charles Aznavour's 'Emmène-moi au bout de la terre', which had become a nightmare for everyone on Christmas Eve. In his childhood, Zac was angry at and confused about his father's attitude, and therefore, he broke his father's favorite Patsy Cline record. This action brings the gap between Zac and his dad, but it also starts Zac's journey to recognize his true self.

In his teenage time, Zac and his brother, Reymond, have become the taboo in the family. Raymond is such a macho guy who indulges himself in drugs and sex all the time. It seems he is the least favored son but in fact is the one who receives most of his father's manly attitudes. His representation contrasts with Zach's, whose preference was the music of David Bowie's 'Space Oddity'. He dressed himself as an androgynous rock star that points out his confusion of showing his true sexual preference and at the same time shows the difficulty in identifying himself with his father and brother. As a teenager, most of us have being through this phase of confusion, but being gay makes the whole situation worse. Zach was rumored to be gay in school, and rumors spread. How could he position himself when he is not even sure about his true sexual preference? Father got angry and suspicious, mother was sad, and brothers fought. Though the film did not put much emphasis on the brotherhood, it shows us Raymond's silent recognition of Zac's sexual preference. Despite his drug addiction and bad attitudes, he loved his brother and protected him from rumors.

Though Zac tries to convince himself he is normal as other boys, he could not fight his temptation for man. He had his first oral with his schoolmate in his father's car. His father sent him to the doctor and got the answer that Zac did it on purpose. Of course, this is not acceptable for the father, but this gives Zac the chance to face who he really is. Can we change our sexual preference? Is it a sin to be born to love the same sex? Zac still tries to divert himself back to normal, but it is not successful. The last big argument he had with his father encouraged him to leave the family and country to search for his true self. This reflects what his father always sings in Christmas, 'Emmène-moi au bout de la terre', that is, take me along to the end of the world. This argument came from a rumor that says Zac was making out in the car in his brother's wedding. Though it is ture that Zac was with the man he secretly loved in the car, they did not commit any sexual behaviours. His father did not want to listen to his explain because he had already known that his beloved son is different, different from all other boys. Parents all know their children, and it is only the matter of time to accept that my children are different from others.

This adventure Zac had to Jerusalem is crucial to him. He finally sees and recognizes himself through this experience. Though his sexual preference is different from others, he will only be considered different when he sees himself as different. Only by embracing your difference that you could gain the courage to open up yourself and welcome the world. This journey helps him confront his homosexuality, and it also helps him see that love is the power to heal wounds, and the family is the only place where provides us love and strength. However, it is quite smart but ironic here that the director places Zac in Jerusalem, such a religious holy place, where he finally recognizes his homosexuality. Isn't this an answer to the question that it is not a sin to be born to love the same sex? After all these endeavours, recognizing one's true self is way more important than being gay or not. God and Buddha love all human beings, not regarding your race, power, sex and sexual preferences.

In the end of the film, Zac said it took him 10 years that he could finally take his loved one home. Time heals, and time erases difference. Being different today doesn't mean being different forever. If we face difference courageously, we will succeed in finding our true selves and gain more from the experience. This film does not just show us a young gay men's journey of being gay, but presents us a true father and son relationship in which both are learning to accept difference. It provides us an excellent chance to look at homosexuality as 'not different', not just in 1970s Montreal but in every places in whatever time. Supporting homosexuality can eliminate difference and help us make better humanity.

Check information of this film:

Official Website of C.R.A.Z.Y.
C.R.A.Z.Y. info on Internet Movie Database

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