Batalla en el Cielo

 

Did you just make a weird face after seeing this picture? Did you have to look away? Are you disturbed and wondering why I would post a picture like this on a Latin@ counterculture blog? If you answered yes to any of these questions then you probably feel uncomfortable seeing an attractive female body and an overweight male body together. Why do we feel uncomfortable seeing an overweight male body lying in the bed holding hands with a good looking female body?  It seems to me that the media plays a big role in this.

Batalla en el Cielo is a Mexican movie directed by Carlos Reygadas. It contains lots of graphic sex scenes and although the movie contains underlying metaphoric representations about the nation of Mexico, the sex scenes are the ones that are given more attention.  Sex scenes shown in this movie consist of an attractive young woman going down on an overweight, middle-aged man, as well as sex between this same man and his even more obese wife.  Personally speaking I had to stop the movie during the three minutes scene where the young woman goes down on the overweight man, Marcos. At first I thought, I couldn’t watch it because there’s a girl giving a blowjob to a man but I realized that wasn’t the case. Like I told my Body Fictions class while discussing this movie, the majority of us have seen pornography at least once in our lives. Some people use it to get off while others are not really interested in it. Yet it doesn’t necessarily bother you (or bother you as much) because they show bodies that have been accepted by the media. Yet if we watched an overweight or obese person having sex with someone it’s very uncomfortable.

The reason I chose to talk about this for this blog is because I think this movie is queer. It has been criticized for showing so much nudity especially of an overweight man. What’s even more different is that the main character for this movie isn’t a real actor. He is actually the driver for Reygadas’ father. I find it very interesting that a Mexican director would make such a movie like this and air it in Mexico. Showing sex scenes in a movie is one thing, but having an overweight person having sex is another. While at first I thought this was weird, after watching the whole movie and after learning that it’s ok to accept things that aren’t the norm, to be queer, I’ve grown to appreciate these scenes. This was a bold move Reygadas did and it was good because people need to be exposed to things that the media say is disturbing. If we are comfortable watching people have intimate scenes in the movies than that means any adult of any size with consent should be able to be part of these scenes without being judged.

What’s also interesting is that while Reygadas is using a stereotypical Latina body for some of his sex scenes he also made it hard for the viewer to distinguish the gender of Marcos’ wife when they were having sex. It would be interesting to analyze this more and figure out the meaning behind these scenes. This was the first time I’ve ever seen a movie with such graphic sex scenes and having overweight people having sex as well. I think it’s great that the public can see this side of sex.

If you’re interested in watching this, it’s on Netflix and here’s the trailer (it has English subtitles!):

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