Named “Best Feature” at The 2018 Harlem International Film Festival, The Breeding is an erotic thriller about a young artist whose obsession with a taboo fetish leads to life-altering consequences. From the opening scene, it’s clear this will be an intense film touching on some edgy content.
Thomas, a young artist becomes obsessed with ‘race play’ and BDSM and as he explores his urges he finds himself in an uncompromising position that doesn’t end well. Another storyline in the film is with Jackson, whose sexual interests are tied to an obsession with African American men. He’ll do just about anything to be with black men. While I don’t have any experience with BDSM, watching the film made me think of stories shared with me by African American friends who sometimes have felt objectified and who have been in situations where the Mandingo scenario plays out. From the stories they have shared, these stereotypes and role-playing are real in the community and the film does an excellent job of portraying them with an extra edge. The film raises some serious questions about whether fetishes based on race dehumanize LGBTQ people of color and perpetuate harmful myths such as the black Mandingo. The film adds to the conversation happening with the ‘Take a Knee’ and Black Lives Matter movement but with an LGBTQ lens.
The film is produced by Novo Novus, whose mission is to explore controversial and risqué stories. The Breeding certainly meets that goal. The film explores a number of topics including race relations and power with a unique and fresh approach that pushes boundaries. The film also explores the basic animalistic instincts of humans and how many of us are willing to do regrettable, unimaginable and typically uncharacteristic things in order to fulfill our primal needs.
“The idea for The Breeding came from an art piece on Harmen van den Bogaert, a slave master in the pre-Civil War era, accused of sodomy with his slave,” explains writer/producer Dane Joseph. “The crime was punishable by death so master and slave fled and later died on the run, falling through a frozen lake. The artist envisioned their plight as a forbidden love story. I felt it to be a problematic interpretation and so I began research on master-slave relationships. It led to my discovering BDSM, where racially charged situations and language are used during cross-cultural sexual encounters. My mind began to wonder how people of color could reconcile that sort of behavior, considering the horrific past from which the practice stems.”
Written by Dane Joseph (“Drama Queenz”)
Directed by Daniel Armando (“Daddy’s Boy“)
Distributed by Breaking Glass Pictures
A limited theatrical run of The Breeding begins September 7 at select theaters in Los Angeles. On September 11, The Breeding will be available on DVD at fine distributors everywhere, and to buy/rent on the following platforms: iTunes, Amazon Instant, Google Play, Direct TV and On Demand through local cable providers.