La casa dell’amore [The House of Love] (2020)

La casa dell’amore
Director: Luca Ferri
Writer: Luca Ferri
Part of: this human world Film Festival
Seen on: 13.12.2020

“Plot”:
Bianca Dolce Miele is a trans sex worker in Milan. She works at home and the film shares her space and her work for a while.

I had issues with La casa dell’amore. It seems more interested in undressing Bianca and showing her at work than giving us an idea of her as a person.

The film poster showing Bianca half-naked, sitting on a whie cube, wearing nothing but a white skirt and white furry boots. A black cat's but is also in the picture in the corner.

I’m neither trans nor a sex worker, but I do try to be a good feminist ally to both. So I hope my critique of the film doesn’t come from a place of some internalized transmisogyny or some unexamined problems with sex work that is somehow shrouding my gaze. But the entire film I felt like it was absolutely fetishizing Bianca.

The way she is constantly dressing and undressing in the film. The way we see her always working on her appearance. That we get long scenes of her work (that is never “just sex” but always kinky in some way, which is not per se a problem, but seems to underscore the “freakiness” of the entire situation). It all felt at the same time super-invasive into her privacy, but also not seeing her as a person – in short, objectifying and fetishizing.

Bianca putting on her make-up.

It also doesn’t help that we don’t really get an introduction to Bianca or her friends, her life. Friends come and go. Her partner Natasha appears to be stuck in Brazil, but why or how long? The films doesn’t give us an answer.

The most engaging moments of the film are when Bianca talks to a museum curator about her father’s work – he was an artist, the museum is interested in showing his work. It is here that Bianca the person makes an appearance and not just Bianca the projection space. It is too bad that the film doesn’t give us more of that.

Bianca and her friends sitting around a table luminated by candles. One of them is singing.

Summarizing: didn’t work for me at all.

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