Why Heterosexuals Should Care About Brokeback Mountain

Brokeback Mountain, for those who have been living under a rock, is the award winning novel and motion picture that is the subject of rave reviews and Oscar buzz. It is, ostensibly, a ground breaking story of two male ranch hands lustily falling in love. On the surface it would seem that such a theme would fail to appeal to heterosexuals who couldn’t possibly identify with such non-normative sexual behavior. But hold your horses, bucko. There may be more that thickens this boiling pot than meets the eye.

One thing that leaps out in the movie’s promotional trailer is the cautionary statement “This thing that grabs hold of us in the wrong place — and you’re dead.” I think this speaks to something much larger than the particular defiance of normative sexual behavior. It taps into the timeless urge to be true to oneself and the risks it may require.

The story is set in one of America’s last vestiges of wildness where two men of earthy humble birth tend to herds of civilized sheep. As much as anything it is the story of the chaos of one’s true nature versus civilizing into stifling conformity.

In an era where Big Brother is keeping tabs on everyone who dares to question the presumptions of authoritarian conservatism, Brokeback Mountain offers hope to anyone who leads a life of quiet desperation. It does not require an impulse to same-sex behavior to identify with the characters’ secret and conflicted defiance of social norms.

This is the stuff of George Orwell. This is a classic tale of the hero. That their demons and black knights are not literalized makes it all the more effective for us to identify with in our contemporary hum-drum lives. This is the tale of the ordinary person seemingly called against their will to a cause that results in a tragic struggle. Brokeback Mountain speaks truth to power for anyone who has not given themselves over to the dark side of lock-step conformity.  

Opens Friday, January 6th at Edwards in Fresno and Signature in Visalia.

Edwards Fresno Stadium 22

Brokeback Mountain
R • 2 hr. 14 min.
Click on RED SHOWTIMES to Buy Tickets
10:20am I 1:20 I 4:20 I 7:20 I 10:20
Edwards Fresno Stadium 22
7750 North Blackstone Ave.
Fresno, CA 93720

Signature Visalia Stadium 10

Brokeback Mountain
R • 2 hr. 14 min.
Click on RED SHOWTIMES to Buy Tickets
10:45am I 1:30 I 4:20 I 7:10 I 10:00
120 S. Bridge St.
Visalia, CA 93291

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