FilmOut Presents ‘Tu Me Manques’ For April Monthly Screening
Semi-autobiographical film looks to homophobia in Bolivia
Wednesday, April 21, 2021
Credit: Dark Star Pictures
"Ma Vie En Rose" (1997)
"A Fantastic Woman" (2017)
"Tu Me Manques" opens with stage directions read to us as they are typed on the screen. We are told we are in a wealthy home in Bolivia and a well-dressed man is standing in front of a suitcase and red backpack. The man, we discover, is Jorge (Oscar Martínez) and the backpack belongs to his son Gabriel (played by three actors Jose Duran, Ben Lukovski and Quim del Rio). He opens his son's computer and accidentally Skypes Gabriel's ex-boyfriend Sebastian (Fernando Barbosa). The men are immediately confrontational and Jorge reveals that Gabriel has committed suicide.
This heated first encounter between these two men proves to be the beginning of a journey. Jorge decides to come to New York City from his conservative Bolivian home to meet Sebastian. Jorge is driven by a desire to discover who his son really was. The men clash over Jorge’s inability to understand and accept his son’s sexuality. The events prompt Sebastian to stage a play that not only pays tribute to his dead former lover but which also addresses the homophobia they both faced in their native Bolivia.
The film is a beautiful and healing meditation on grief, loss and the creative process. The film opens with a quote from Paul Monette that states: “Go without hate, but not without rage. Heal the world.” And that informs the film's themes and motivations.
Writer-director Rodrigo Bellott straddles the U.S. and Bolivian film industries. "Tu Me Manques" draws eloquently on his own personal story. The film also chronicles his creative process of staging a multi-media play in Bolivia that helped bring LGBTQ issues to the forefront in that country. The re-staging of that work for the film is heartbreakingly effective and gives the film its resonance.
"Tu Me Manques" gives voice to a particular Latinx perspective and reflecting the struggles of the LGBTQ community in Bolivia. But it is also a film that recognizes how universal that struggle may also be.
"Tu Me Manques" is available streaming this Thursday through Sunday from FilmOut San Diego.
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