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Moralists Instruction Musical: The Revolutionary Conduct (Leeds Queer Film Festival)

Friday 11 July 2014, by Judy Harris

It’s impossible not to fall in love with a film which includes the line ‘but heteroman, your arguments fall light as leaves cause your g spot is in your ass’. This mix of queer criticism and autumnal imagery is actually a line from a song, delivered in melodic unison by four queer superheroes in a ramshackle community centre which reminded me of the set of a Swedish Byker Grove. There’s a lot to love about this homespun film which offers wonderfully comic and imaginative means by which to sabotage a world full of gender and hetero-fascists.

Rather than a film about the necessity for armed resistance, Moralists is about arming yourself with an imagination, ready quips and the brute force of a powerful sense of humour when adeptly turned against your aggressor. The dada/camp/surrealist humour employed here flips ’common sense’ (or normative power) over onto its collective arse. The homemade feel of the film reiterates its message; how do you respond to a world of bullshit and violence in the here and now, sans superpowers? This is a small film, but then alongside the global politics of gender and sexuality, of institutional oppression and discrimination, the daily encounters of abuse, threats of violence, aggressive glances and exclusionary gestures can also be small. Violence can be incremental and momentary, the chance to fight back, whether physically or intellectually, is often fleeting. In the face of actual physical and psychological violence it’s far harder to enact the wonderful ‘Bengt Alsterlind’ manoeuvre than the brilliant Kjell Guevara makes it look. Still, despite the fact that the film is small, all-white and remains in the realm of the fantastical, it packs a powerful, playful punch. Thanks to The Moralists I’m one step closer to removing my bloody tampon, hanging it onto some jerk’s ear with a chipper smile and adding ‘it’s fun to look snappy!’.

Moralists Instruction Musical: The Revolutionary Conduct is showing as part of the Leeds Queer Film Festival Saturday 12th July- tickets and more info here:


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