I'm a whore, a dog, and a cunt. ^ My father's insults make me strong.
2 I accept them all.
u I'm sliding toward the sewer, I'm not struggling.
I can smell the shit, but I'm still breathing.
£ I'm not going to make a difference
< I'm not going to change a thing
No one is going to remember me when I'm dead
I'm a sailor and whore, and I will be until the end of the world.
As a coming-of-age moment this is a wonderfully perverse image. Ari's words are both powerful and expansive. He is not a 'rebel without a cause' but rather the embodiment of anti-rebellion, a lived form of a powerful refusal to engage, to be subjugated. But as Ari dances in circles on an empty wharf at Port Melbourne there is also something alarming about this image. Ari's words express his determination to escape time, space and the socialising forces of history by immersing himself in the speed and immediacy of the present, exposing the wounds of his shaming in a form of homosexual abjection. As such, the film itself refuses to submit to the genre's tendency to look back, to reassure its audience, to satisfy the patriarchal, heterosexist fantasy of familial unity. The question is, however, what does Ari's decision to disengage say about the nation's maturity and possibilities for moving forward in such a way that we might recognise the injurious wounds of shame inflicted on Ari and others excluded from the social imaginary.
Was this article helpful?