Synopsis: Far from the images of unbridled sexuality that is conventionally imagined, ‘Bisexualité: Territoires interdits’ takes us into the inner lives of people who accept and reveal their bisexual nature.
Through the pain, prohibitions, pleasures, and sometimes lies, these individuals recognize the existence of another form of emotional and sexual relationship – one that involves temptations and a hunger for both men and women…
The participants, who coexist more or less harmoniously with their own impulses and desires, show us a way that appears more common than our “well-meaning consumer society” currently want us to see.
Bisexualité: Territoires secrets 7.5
eyelights: its frank discussions on perceptions of bisexuality.
eyesores: the brevity of the film. its limited scope.
‘Bisexualité: Territoires secrets’ is a French Canadian documentary by Suzanne Guy that discusses how bisexuality is perceived in modern society. The short film was the opening entry at the Nouveautés documentaires à Saguenay festival on November 30, 2010.
Its chief component are interviews with Québécois men and women of various ages who consider themselves neither heterosexual or homosexual. They recount the process by which they came to be openly bisexual, the reactions that they get and how it affects their life.
They talk about how bisexuals are viewed, both by the straight and gay communities, how they aren’t readily accepted by either. One of the frequent misperceptions is that being bisexual means heightened sexuality, when in fact it just means being able to be sexual with either gender.
In essence, the participants argue, they are misunderstood much in the same way that homosexuals were 20-30 years ago. Thus they seek to demystify bisexuality.
I myself had some of these same misconceptions up until a few years ago. I honestly have no idea where these notions filtered in from, but I suspect it must have come from the barrage of media reports that suggests that gays and bis are constantly partying, living high-risk lifestyles.
The fact is that none of the participants do. In fact, most of them are in relationships, some of them long-term, some of them even married. What unifies them is that they were able to let their hearts guide them in love, not thinking about labels, or some self-imposed limitations.
In fact, that is the very question at the centre of ‘Bisexualité’. Guy questions society’s need to label things, to put everything and everyone in a box. Ultimately, what it attempts to argues is that the crux of one’s attraction or form of a relationship shouldn’t matter.
And why should it?
Granted, some of us are hard-wired at one extreme. But, if one considers the Kinsey scale, there are many other possibilities other than just hetero or homo. And bi isn’t just a notch at the centre of that scale. So why bother labeling at all, when we’re talking about shades, nuances?
One of the most interesting interviews is with Julie, a transgendered woman now going through hormone therapy. To prove how misguided perceptions can be, she pointed out that, although she’s marginal, she’s boring as hell – she leads a very mundane existence.
She’s hardly debauched or remotely threatening.
The film proposes that human hearts and relationships are complex and that there’s no need to limit one’s self to simplistic models. Case-in-point, one of the two bi couples are married but don’t live together and another couple have an open relationship to channel their bisexuality.
Life is more complex than just black or white. Sure, it’s comfortable, if not comforting, to have a simple world view because one then knows exactly what to expect at all times. But is it realistic? Really, why can’t people be able to live freely, without judgment from society, if their actions hurts no one at all?
Hetero, bi, gay or lesbian (and everything in between)? What does it matter in the end?
Date of viewing: June 22, 2014