AT THE MOVIES
//Written by Benjamin J. Gilyot
Marcus Bellamy as Thomas
Patrick Kuzara as Jackson
David J. Cork as Amadi
Joe MacDougall as Lee
Available digitally and on DVD September 11
The Breeding, described as an “erotic LGBT thriller,” confronts viewers with the complications and violence involving race and sex between men in American culture. Set in New York City, the film primarily centers on the sexual escapades of a black artist named Thomas (Marcus Bellamy) and a white artist named Jackson (Patrick Kuzara).
The film is divided into nine chapters with designated titles as we explore Thomas’s contradictory feelings around sex and the dangers inherent with sexual intimacy. He monologues to himself about his love of black men, but is often uninterested and disconnected with his boyfriend, Amadi (David J. Cork), and actively pursues stimulation elsewhere. Their relationship strain centers on Amadi’s frustration with Thomas not producing enough erotic cartoon art to support himself and Thomas’s disinterest in Black Lives Matter issues Amadi wants to confront daily with his coworkers. Eventually, Thomas pursues a fling with a white man, Lee (Joe MacDougall), centered on taboo fetishes and things take a very dark turn.
Jackson also explores his own fetish for black men and attempts to record his encounters with them multiple times. Though Jackson wants to create some art about his sexual activity, his inability or unwillingness to communicate effectively with his black partners violates their trust consistently. He also finds himself in a dark turn during an ill-advised encounter.
The violence in this film will leave many viewers uncomfortable, and yet it feels like the film wants the viewers to dwell in the tense situations the men in this film find themselves. Days later, viewers may find themselves reflecting on the how race fits into our sexual proclivities and why race play consistently sells so well. Tight, deeply-affecting camerawork guides viewers’ eyes to important details as they consider the dangerous choices characters make along the way. Though the film often becomes a difficult watch, it asks viewers to consider intensely difficult dynamics in our sexual relationships and their intersection with race.
Check out the trailer for “THE BREEDING” below: