Bertrand Bonello’s The Beast isn’t George MacKay’s only film arriving this spring. Sam H. Freeman and Ng Choon Ping’s thriller Femme, for which MacKay picked up Best Joint Lead Performance with co-star Nathan Stewart-Jarrett at British Independent Film Awards, will get a release from Utopia this March and now the new trailer has arrived.

Here’s the synopsis for the Berlinale selection: “With his performances as Aphrodite Banks, Jules (Nathan Stewart-Jarrett, Candyman) has a place among London’s celebrated drag artists. One night after a show, he steps out to get some cigarettes and is brutally attacked by a man (George MacKay, 1917), out with a gang of his friends. Although Jules is able to recover physically, he withdraws from the outside world, traumatized. Months later, he recognizes his attacker by chance in a gay sauna. Without make-up and wrapped only in a towel, Jules is able to approach the other man incognito and find out who he is. He begins an affair with the closeted Preston, with a plan to take his revenge.”

“There is emotional violence and at the beginning something happens to Jules, but in terms of the actual violence, it’s quite minimal,” the directors told Cineuropa. Especially if you compare it to the work of Nicolas Winding Refn or Good Time, which was a big inspiration, or even classic Scorsese or Tarantino. Femme doesn’t go anywhere near that. But people seem to think it’s violent and when you quiz them about it, they add: ‘Well, for a queer film.’ So are we being measured to a different standard because we have gay characters? If it was about straight men, no one would be commenting on the violence. “

See the trailer below.

Femme opens in NYC on March 22, LA on March 29, and will expand.

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