›› Seat Belt - Cinturón de Seguridad ‹‹

a short film by Jonathan Anzo.

2018 | 25 mins | Mexico.

a compelling picture of gay parenthood and grief.

Dave says:

There's something quite tender and yet ultimately sad about this poignant short film from co-writer and director Jonathan Anzo.

It tells the story of Julio (Antonio González) and Damián (Alfredo Romero); a couple who are as devoted to each other as they are to their adopted son Andrés (Leonardo Maldonado); a shy but adorable five-year-old, who equally finds himself doted on by the ever present 'Aunt' of the piece. Yet into their perfect world tragedy is about to strike, when Damián takes ill in the middle of the night and never recovers, leaving Julio not only mourning the loss of his partner, but left questioning his ability to raise a child - alone.

In short, this is but a compelling picture of gay parenthood and grief, where the love of a father sees him putting his son's best interests ahead of his own. Laced with a series of touching moments, frankly there's a lot to like here and yet in spite of such, it suffers from the fact that Damián is by far the more likeable character of the parental pairing, being devoted to Andrés to the point that in raising the boy you have to wonder just who is enjoying playtime more? Thus when removed from the picture, the narrative suffers, with Julio appearing somewhat of a bore, being devoid of the interest or the time to take care of Andrés, being all too absorbed in bringing in the family income, that is when he's not getting over his grief by 'working late' on the cruising grounds of Mexico.

Yet not everything here is what it seems, even if the closing twist in the tale could for some, be lost along the cinematic path. And that would be a shame, as it paints a completely different picture of a story that's beautifully played from start to finish, even if Maldonado cannot help but steal the show, wonderfully playing his scenes with the sweet 'n' innocent air of a child. Say no more.

›› available as part of THE LATIN BOYS - VOLUME 2 shorts compilation.
›› posted: Thursday, 18th February, 2021.

Gay Visibility - overt. 
Nudity - from the waist up. 
Overall - file under ... 4 stars. 

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