George McKay in 'Femme' Source: Utopia

'Femme' Filmmakers Talk Queer Revenge and Tragedy

Emell Adolphus READ TIME: 2 MIN.

"Femme," in theaters now, tells a gripping story of queer revenge after a drag performer is brutally assaulted. The British thriller, written and directed by Sam H. Freeman and Ng Choon Ping, and starring George MacKay and Nathan Stewart-Jarrett, dives into a burgeoning genre of gays behaving badly. And in the end the film asks: But at what cost?

"Revenge had to lead to tragedy for us," Freeman told Entertainment Weekly. "It couldn't be revenge and a happy ending, but it felt compelling to us that part of Jules' journey is stepping away from revenge and tragedy when the train had already left the station, so events spiral without him meaning them to."

When drag performer Jules (Stewart-Jarrett's) is assaulted by Preston (George Mackay) outside a convenience shop, he soon discovers that his attacker is closeted. A seduction and revenge plot begins that ultimately changes them both for better and worse.

When the nature of Jules' plot is finally revealed, it leads to a final brutal and heartbreaking showdown that comments on the ugliness of revenge.

"Revenge is often glorified, but there's something about the nature of revenge," said MacKay. "It's much more messy, much more personal than was intended, and even more than the genre would suggest."

The ending is meant to be a full circle moment, added Freeman. "You can measure Preston's personal journey in the end when he chooses to go inside [the drag show], and the tragedy of it is that he gets there and it all blows up," he said. "[Jules] shows Preston a life that could have been much happier for him and then takes it from him, which is what Preston does to Jules at the beginning."

Ng explained, "In order for the revenge story to feel correct, what is taken away in the end needs to be what is taken away in the beginning."

Read the full interview with the filmmakers and watch the trailer for the film, which is out now in theaters, below.

by Emell Adolphus

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