‘Slow’: New film explores asexuality in romantic relationships


Slow asexuality film
Image: Totem Films

Coming to the Melbourne Queer Film Festival, Lithuanian film Slow explores an often-underrepresented part of our rainbow community.

When dancer Elena (Greta Grineviciute) meets sign language interpreter Dovydas (Kestutis Cicenas), they are immediately drawn to each other.  A natural bond ensues and gradually transforms into a tender relationship. Elena is faced with personal insecurities when Dovydas reveals he is asexual. They must navigate how to build their own kind of intimacy.

In an interview with Salon, writer/director Marija Kavtaradze was asked about her inspiration behind the film.”I wasn’t familiar with asexuality. I read an article about it, and I didn’t see a lot of asexual characters, but the topic stayed in my mind,” she explained.

READ MORE: International Asexuality Day: Celebrities who are ace and proud

“I was reading and researching, and then I decided to write a screenplay about it. It’s a relationship story and a love story. I thought it was interesting and important to make Dovydas asexual because he is a man.

“Our expectations of gender in relationship are often that if she had been asexual, for us, as an audience, it would be much easier to accept. In my country, growing up, the narrative was that men always want sex — and it is the only thing they want — and women don’t, and that’s how it is. Their characters helped me rethink things about gender that go without saying.”

‘Every story is different, and people have different experiences’

With the film’s release this year, Kavtaradze hopes Slow will expand viewers understanding of the vast number of experiences under the ace umbrella.

“Researching the film, I was reading about asexuality and talking to people who identify as asexual. There is such a big spectrum. Every story is different, and people have different experiences,” she said.

“When I first saw or heard something about asexuality, I had questions — what is it?, and so on, so maybe this can be the start for people to dive deeper, get more familiar, and talk openly about it. I feel empathy for asexual people. In many stories, I kept hearing this narrative that you have to prove yourself all the time, because no one believes you. If you are asexual, people say, “You just haven’t had good sex yet,” or “You will become sexual,” or “Maybe you are homosexual and don’t accept it.” Every asexual person has this experience.

“If we read and see more, we might know more rather than open your mouth and say something stupid. I want to respect what Dovydas’ character says and believe it.”

Slow is showing on November 15 as part of Melbourne Queer Film Festival.

Tickets are available HERE.

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Sarah Davison
Sarah Davison

After working in print and radio, Sarah has joined the team at QNews to expand their coverage into South Australia. Sarah has a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology, and a Masters in Journalism, Media, and Communications. Get in touch: sarah@qnews.com.au

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