Man at Bath (Homme au bain) opens with a direful encounter between gay hustler, Emmanuel (François Sagat) and filmmaker Omar (Omar Ben Sellem). The two have been a couple for quite some time but are now facing a real impasse in their relationship. After a rough quickie, Emmanuel is kicked out of his home by his enraged boyfriend and starts packing up his things. After the long-expected separation, both lovers go on their own unique journeys in different parts of the world. Omar makes it to New York and wanders the city streets of Manhattan, while his ex-boyfriend tries to get some spare change as a sex worker in Gennevilliers.
Although Omar is doing well after the breakup and secures a few great opportunities for his career in NYC, Emmanuel struggles to make a living in the Parisian suburbs. After being humiliated by one of his clients, Robin (Dennis Cooper), the man becomes dejected and apologetic towards his masculinity. Back in Manhattan, Omar is looking to promote a film and attends a hearty lecture at the School of Visual Arts. The gay man befriends the acclaimed actress Chiara Mastroianni (playing herself) and goes on to hold a talk at the Lincoln Center. Despite his success, Omar deeply feels the loss of his former lover as depression and apathy slowly begin to encroach every aspect of his life.
“The meandering style and setting recalls the production approach of Steven Soderbergh’s “The Girlfriend Experience,” which used non-professional actors and similarly lingered on the edge between fiction and documentary.”
“In a feature that marks the polar opposite of his earlier work Close to Leo, here we find writer and director Christophe Honoré deliver a sexually explicit story of separation.”
— Gay Celluloid
Did You Know?
Although the film is rife with explicit sex scenes and nudity, director Christopher Honoré wanted to place more emphasis on how each character approaches and handles the breakup rather than on the sexual nature of their coping mechanisms. The director refers to Man at Bath (Homme au bain) as more of a workshop project than a film, as the movie was created to be presented exclusively at the Théâtre de Gennevilliers and was only later released in cinemas. Review our Gay Themed Films Here