The gay community should relish this brave biopic which surrounds the life of famed Finnish artist Touko Laaksonen, the man behind the iconic signature ‘Tom of Finland’ whose provocative gay sketches paved his way to become the hottest property in gay porn all over Europe.
The film is non-linear in structure and delves into the artist’s promiscuous life style from World War II, when he was told by the Germans “we used to put scum like you into concentration camps and gas them to death” until the early 1980s, when homosexuals were denounced for the advent of HIV/AIDS.
Haunting scenes of soldiers cruising the battle fields for gay sexual encounters and an insight into the underground homosexual world in an era when they were persecuted for merely holding hands, offers a voyeuristic but mandatory approach in filmmaking which may be unprecedented.
There are many shattering moments in this film which may affect even the most homophobic audiences, such as the intolerant ideology that homosexuality was a confusion caused by war which would eventually pass and notably the mental trauma experienced by homosexuals, who wanted to be ‘cured of their illness.’
Ultimately, audiences will feel the sensuality and lust unleashed in this confronting but fascinating insight into the life of a man who not only provided self-esteem for gay men through his homoerotic drawings, but who also revolutionised gay culture. (MMo)