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Macho Dancer 

Year: 1988
Country: Philippines
Director: Lino Brocka
Starring: Jacklyn Jose, Daniel Fernando, Princess Punzalan, Alan Paule, William Lorenzo
Synopsis: After his American lover dumps him, a gay boy from the country heads to Manila to make a living as a macho dancer (ie, prostitute). Classic tale of the boy from a small town seduced by the evils of the big city.
Quick review: I went back to see what U.S. gay films were being made in 1988 to get a frame of reference for this review. I only have three listed (so far) from that year. One of them, Torch Song Trilogy, is a fixture on my top 10 list. Still, it's nice to see other countries tackling gay storylines that had nothing to do with coming out or AIDS in the 1980s. Paul is a gay boy in the country who has an American lover, an older military man stationed in the Philippines. He is returning to the states, but decides to hand Paul over to a friend. Paul isn't crazy about this. He decides he wants to make some money so he heads for Manila with a friend. Once there, he quickly becomes established as a macho dancer, a go-go boy who can be rented by the hour. He also meets Noel, who becomes his friend and guide to the underbelly of gay life in Manila. The film explores the slave market and police corruption, quite edgy material for its time in history. It feels a little dated, nearly 20 years later. But it's still a strong film with very cute Filipino boys running around half naked for most of the film.

 

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