The rarely-seen reality of life as a male sex worker

Search for films about male sex workers online, and there are just 36 titles listed on Wikipedia. On the other hand, the results for those concerning women come in thousands, allowing the reader to choose from a wide range of categories: “sexploitation films”, “women’s erotica”, “exploitation of women in mass media”, “feminist pornography”.

The male body tends to be sexualised on-screen to create an image of the heartthrob; the leading man, Prince Charming. But titles with the nuanced sensitivity of My Own Private Idaho, or the gritty humour found in MidnightCowboy, are too few and far between.

Sauvage, however, is a film that bucks the trend. The passionate debut feature from French filmmaker Camille Vidal-Naquet uses the streets of Strasbourg as a backdrop for a wandering protagonist, Leo (Felix Maritaud) – a young man who sells his body in an endless search for a satisfaction he can hold onto.

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