(*homocinematically inclined)

Monday, March 11, 2019

Reverend's Preview: Somos = All for LGBTQ Movies


The Spanish word somos means “all” in English, so it seems a fitting new title for the San Diego Latino Film Festival’s LGBTQ showcase. Formerly known as Cine Gay, this year’s event will run March 14th-24th at AMC Fashion Valley and Digital Gym CINEMA North Park.

Now in its 26th year, the festival 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. The Somos showcase is made possible by the San Diego Pride Festival, the Media Arts Center, and Filmout San Diego.

“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,” according to Moises Esparza, the festival’s curator. “It is our pleasure to continue our annual tradition of bringing the very best of LGBTQ Latino cinema” to San Diego.

Though primarily reflective of Latino/Latina experiences and locations, the themes of the various movies to be shown are universal. Screenings will be hosted by local drag superstar Franceska. Individual tickets and full festival passes can be purchased in advance here. One can also become a member of this non-profit organization and enjoy special perks here.

A fabulous LGBTQ Short Film Showcase will be presented on Sunday, March 17th at 3:30pm. These mini-movies will include: Broken Sunflower Hearts, Estigma, Infinite While It Lasts, Neither From Here, Nor There, Oasis, The Serenade and The night, unsheltered.

Feature films to be screened are:

Eva + Candela (from Colombia)
The professional ambition of two strong, independent women brings them together but it is also what ultimately pulls them apart. We witness their intense love transform amidst stages of infatuation, sensuality, love, comfort and, finally, routine.

Claudia tocada por la luna (Claudia touched by the moon) (Chile)
Having suffered discrimination throughout her life, Claudia, a trans-Chilean midwife, remembers the hardest and most difficult moments she had to face in order to live her identity. This documentary tells the history, struggle, and constant abuses that are part of a society that still excludes those it considers different.

Tinta Bruta (Hard Paint) (Brazil)
Set in Brazil’s southern city of Porto Alegre, the film focuses on a socially-repressed young man who only comes out of his shell during chatroom performances, when he strips and smears neon paints on his lithe body.

José (Guatemala)
The title character is 19 and lives with his mother in Guatemala, one of the world's most dangerous, religious, impoverished, and socially conservative countries. He spends his days on cramped buses and fighting traffic as he runs food to drivers. When he meets Luis, a migrant from the rural Caribbean coast, they pursue an unexpected and forbidden relationship that thrusts José into an unexpectedly passionate and self-reflective period in his life.

Retablo (Peru/Norway/Germany)
Segundo Paucar, a 14 year old boy, wants to become a master story-box maker just like his father to carry on the family legacy. On his way to a community celebration in the Andes, Segundo accidentally observes his father in a situation that shatters his whole world. Trapped in a chauvinistic environment, Segundo will try to deal in silence with all that is happening to him.

Bixa Travesty (Brazil)
The female trans body becomes a political means of expression in both public and private space. The black, transgender singer Linn da Quebrada deconstructs how alpha males conceive of themselves. Kiko Goifman and Claudia Priscilla's documentary portrays a charismatic artist who reflects on gender and has an extraordinary stage presence.

Las herederas (The Heiresses) (Paraguay/Germany/Brazil/Uruguay/Norway/France)
Chela and Chiquita, both descendants of wealthy families, have been together for over 30 years. Recently, their financial situation has worsened, and Chiquita is imprisoned on fraud charges. Chela, forced to face a new reality, begins to provide a local taxi service to a group of elderly, wealthy ladies for money. As she settles into her new life, Chela encounters the much younger Angy, forging a fresh and invigorating new connection. This drama was Paraguay’s submission to this year's Oscars.

Las Chuntá (The Chunta) (Mexico)
Once a year in a small town in Mexico, men transform into women and become the Chuntá. This documentary follows two gender-bending gangs of dancers as they face off in a struggle between queer identity and powerful traditions.

The San Diego Latino Film Festival will be presented from March 14th to the 24th. Click here for more information.

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

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