›› My Straight Son - Azul y No Tan Rosa - Blue and Not So Pink
a film by Miguel Ferrari.
2012 | 114 mins | Venezuela.
principal players: Guillermo García / Diego, Ignacio Montes / Armando, Hilda Abrahamz / Delirio del Río, Carolina Torres / Perla Marina, Alexander Da Silva / Racso, Sócrates Serrano / Fabrizio and Arlette Torres as Valentina.
dedicated to: To You, Dear Father.
Official Synopsis: "Diego, a successful Venezuelan fashion photographer, lives a glamorous life of excess with his partner Fabrizio. The shallowness of their day-to-day adventures is put into stark perspective after a sudden tragedy leaves Fabrizio in a coma. To make matters worse, Diego's estranged son, Armando, arrives from Spain for an unexpected visit. Bitter and full of insecurity, Armando has great trouble adjusting to his father's sexuality and the LGBT lifestyle. In the midst of great emotional turmoil, Diego must try to find common ground with his temperamental son and learn that family, friends and love are the real ingredients to a happy, fulfilling life."
In a film that's something of a Venezuelan cinematic miracle, writer and director Miguel Ferrari weaves a melodramatic tale that's as joyous, as it is poignant. Thankfully between all of the emotional ups and downs of the piece lies a series of touching moments, as Ferrari juxtaposes themes of life and death to tell the story of a man coming to terms with the brutal beating of his partner, whilst equally trying to re-connect with his estranged son, who is himself coming to terms with his father's sexuality and that of his sexually diverse group of friends; from drama-queen Perla Marina, to his transgendered choreographer best friend Delirio del Río.
Yet folk beware, for and in spite of a series of upbeat sections, this film notably includes a scene of unprovoked homophobic violence that is as sickening, as it is central to the plot, even if the sequence itself leaves more forensic potholes in its wake than the state of British roads, making you seriously question if the Venezuelan authorities have even heard of the pioneering work of Sir Alec Jeffreys, or simply cannot be bothered when it comes to crimes of hate. Then again, such is reflective of the times and of a country still clearly in need of diversity training, let alone gay rights, as acutely depicted during the sequence in which Diego discovers that he has no legal rights to see his hospitalized boyfriend.
Such is however but one of the many, perhaps too many issues raised, as homophobia, domestic violence, negative body image and a host of other concerns await their turn for the narrative spotlight, in a film that strikingly contrasts the ugly face of prejudice, with the outstretched hand of human compassion. High in production values, cue the solid cinematography from Alexandra Henao, as complimented by the lush and often moving score by Sergio de la Puente, this is a work with a lot going for it, even if some may feel that it could have benefited with the odd nip 'n' tuck here and there. And whilst there's nothing remotely sexual on view, being overtly gay - without the sex factor, as ever it's the story that counts, one that here is delivered from the heart, as Ferrari and to his credit has gone out of his way to preach a sermon on sexual acceptance. And for a Venezuelan film saying "I am how I am - so what" is not only saying it with pride, but is one hell of a major statement to make!
Gay Visibility - overt.
Nudity - from the waist up.
Overall - file under ... 4 stars.