Friday, March 17, 2017

Reverend's Preview: Cine Gay Returns in Politically-Charged Times


 

Deportation fears are at a fever pitch, sadly, thanks to el presidente Trump. Fortunately, he can’t prevent 2017’s edition of the San Diego Latino Film Festival nor its LGBTQ showcase Cine Gay. The event runs now through March 26th at the AMC Fashion Valley 18.


Now in its 24th year, the fest annually screens more than 160 films from Latin America, Spain, the United States, Mexico and other parts of the world in celebration of Latino film, art and culture. Also featured are after parties, filmmaker workshops and guest celebrities from the hottest TV shows and feature films.

“LGBTQ cinema is transcendent by nature, oftentimes forcing spectators to look beyond their own experiences and inviting them to engage, reconcile and ultimately relate to issues initially outside of their understanding”, said Moises Esparza, the festival’s programmer. “It is our pleasure to continue our annual tradition of bringing you the very best of LGBTQ Latino cinema.”

Among the films to be shown this year are:

Don't Call Me Son

Don’t Call Me Son
(Brazil, 82 min., 2016, Portuguese w/ English subtitles, Drama)
Tall, dark, androgynously handsome Pierre wears eyeliner and a black lace g-string, while having sex with both boys and girls. The confusion only goes deeper when the teenager’s single, working-class mom is arrested for having stolen him at birth. He’s returned to his biological parents: bourgeois, straight-laced and thrilled to have him back... at least until he shows up in a zebra-print mini dress. The turmoil of adolescence is plumbed with wit and compassion.

Etiqueta No Rigurosa
(Mexico, 92 min., 2016, Spanish w/ English subtitles, Documentary)
Victor and Fernando run a beauty salon in Baja California. For many of their customers they were a lovely couple, until they decided to marry. They become the first ones in their state to fight for their rights in a place filled with homophobia and inequality. Through their struggle, they manage to open the eyes of Mexican society and affirm a love that fills every frame of this moving and eye-opening new film.

Forbidden: Undocumented and Queer in Rural America
(USA, 90 min., 2016, English, Spanish w/ subtitles, Documentary)
When Moisés Serrano was just a baby, his parents risked everything to flee Mexico and make the perilous journey across the desert in search of the American dream. After 23 years growing up in the rural south as an undocumented gay man, Serrano is forbidden to live and love in the country he calls home. He sees only one option: to fight for justice and demand equality.

Jesús

Jesús
(Chile, 83 min., 2016, Spanish w/ English subtitles, Drama)
Jesús, 18, lives alone with his father, Hector, with whom he has a detached relationship. He dances in a K-pop band, hangs out with friends, does drugs, watches trashy clips, and has sex in public places. One night, he and his friends partake in a tragedy. This event will make Jesús and Héctor closer than ever, but also threatens to tear them apart forever.

The Ornithologist
(Portugal / France / Brazil, 117 min., 2016, Portuguese, Mandarin and Spanish w/ English subtitles, Drama)
A handsome ornithologist experiences a series of surreal adventures during a bird surveying trip in this queer interpretation of the life of St. Anthony of Padua.

Ovarian Psycos (USA, 72 min., 2016, English; Spanish w/ English subtitles, Documentary)
Riding at night through streets deemed dangerous in Eastside Los Angeles, the Ovarian Psycos use their bicycles to confront the violence in their lives. The film rides along with the Ovas, exploring the impact of the group’s activism born of feminist ideals, indigenous understanding and an urban/hood mentality. They confront injustice, racism and violence, and take back their streets one ride at a time.

The Cine Gay Showcase also features an LGBT short film program. Complete screening information including dates, times and ticket sales can be accessed at their website.

Review by Rev. Chris Carpenter, resident film and stage critic of Movie Dearest and Rage Monthly Magazine.

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