Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Arts


Film Studies


Dr. Joe Wlodarz


This thesis examines how recent French queer films may mirror, interrogate and engage with sexual politics in France. The key political changes include the 1999 Pacte Civil de Solidarité legislation and the legalization of same-sex marriage in 2013. The thesis focuses on French queer films which are sexually explicit, including simulated and unsimulated sex acts. Using Michael Warner’s The Trouble with Normal and Michel Foucault’s conceptions of homosexuality, the thesis suggests that the sexual politics in France ostensibly normalize and desexualize gay and lesbian modes of desire. This thesis ultimately argues that the explicit sex scenes in the films discussed are not gratuitous. Rather they are integral to the director’s engagement with contemporary French sexual politics. French queer cinema, as such, remains a key critical lens through which to analyze the global shift towards the legalization of gay marriage and the unpredictable social, sexual, and political implications of normalization.