Over a century before Spain finally legalized same-sex marriage in 2005, two women called Marcela Gracia Ibeas and Elisa Sánchez Loriga beat the odds and were married under the eyes of God in 1901. Isabel Coixet’s latest drama brings the couple’s story to life in Elisa y Marcela.
Pablo (Juan Pablo Olyslager) seems to have it all. With his beautiful family and a respected job in finance, the fortysomething patriarch is the envy of his community, but as Tremors (Temblores) opens, we learn that Pablo has done something which threatens the very foundations of his world, much like the titular tremors that plague Guatemala City.
The rural setting of this coming of age tale may initially remind viewers of the similarly rugged Yorkshire backdrops of God’s Own Country, one of last year’s standout LGBT films. But the Peruvian landscape hides an intolerant undercurrent, with these rural villages populated entirely by townsfolk with reactionary and religiously motivated attitudes towards same sex relationships.
Just over ten years ago, Polish filmmaker Alina Skrzeszewska moved to a hotel near Skid Row, America’s infamous “homeless capital” located on the outskirts of central Los Angeles. Despite only spending a year living in the neighbourhood, it’s had a significant impact on her life – and she’s returned there once again to make yet another documentary following the citizens caught living on the streets just blocks away from luxurious skyscrapers.
As a documentary, Who’s Gonna Love Me Now? is a balanced production, showing us the perspective of the protagonist and the sometimes controversial opinions of friends and relatives. The film is also an excellent way to further discuss and overcome stereotypes associated to being HIV+. The big lesson we all have to learn with this movie is that love, after all, triumphs.
Jonathan is directed by Polish-born Piotr J. Lewandowski—his first film. It’s got all the elements of a successful movie. Great cinematography, an incredible cast and a soundtrack that fits well within the story. There are contrasting moments of happiness and sadness, confusion and clarity. It’s a touching story which some might find sad, but somehow the joy shines through.
Brazil has seen a recent wave of contemporary LGBT cinema. Last year’s Berlinale saw the premiere of Brazilian film, Beira-Mar, and this year’s Brazilian LGBT hit was the film Don’t Call Me Son (in original Portuguese “Mãe só ha uma” / There is only one mother). As part of the Panorama program, the film is unique in that it tells an interesting story that goes beyond the traditional topics covered in gay cinema.