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Querelle
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Querelle

Querelle is both a 1947 novel (Querelle de Brest) by French author Jean Genet and its film adaptation by Rainer Werner Fassbinder from 1982.

The plot centers around the handsome sailor Querelle (Brad Davis), who is also a thief and murderer and has hidden his booty all over the world. When his ship, the Vengeur, arrives in Brest, he visits the Feria, a brothel run by Lysiane (Jeanne Moreau), whose lover Robert is Querelle's brother.

Querelle, who had been smuggling drugs, murders his accomplice Vic in an act that is the typical blend of homosexuality and violence so prevalent in Genet's work.

Luckily for Querelle, a construction worker called Gil murders his coworker Theo, who had been harassing and sexually assaulting him. Gil hides from the police, and Roger, who is in love with Gil, establishes contact between Querelle and Gil in the hopes that Querelle can help Gil flee.

Querelle and Gil fall in love, but Querelle betrays Gil by tipping off the police. Querelle had cleverly arranged it that his murder of Vic is also blamed on Gil.

In parallel there is a plot line about Lieutenant Seblon (Franco Nero), who is in love with Querelle, and constantly tries to prove his manliness to Querelle.

Fassbinder's adaptation features surreal sets that underscore the dreamlike quality and abstraction of the novel. It was Fassbinder's final and by his own words most important movie.

See also: List of gay movies