Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Tu Me Manques Review: Powerful Human Drama From Bolivia

Reyes Antelo	...	Rene / Gabriel 5 Fernando Barbosa	Fernando Barbosa	...	Sebastian Erwin Berzain	Erwin Berzain	...	Edu / Gabriel 4 (as Erwin Berzaín Arias) Pamela Bruno Cronenbold	Pamela Bruno Cronenbold	...	Nataly (as Pamela Bruno) Hugh Cha	Hugh Cha	...	Jonathan Dominic Colón	Dominic Colón	...	Alonso Rick Cosnett	Rick Cosnett	...	Chase Ricardo Costa	Ricardo Costa	...	Franco Rossy de Palma	Rossy de Palma	...	Rosaura Quim del Rio	Quim del Rio	...	Gabriel 2 Jorge Fabian Duabyakosky	Jorge Fabian Duabyakosky	...	Fabian / Gabriel 10 Jose Duran	Jose Duran	...	Gabriel 1 (as José Durán) Dale Dymkoski	Dale Dymkoski	...	Jesse Max Emerson	Max Emerson	...	Kolby Kevin Ferrante	Kevin Ferrante	...	Kevin / Gabriel 12

Release date: April 22, 2021 (Limited Theatrical); May 4 (DVD and Digital)
Running time: 111 minutes
Written and Directed By: Rodrigo Bellott
Starring: Oscar Martinez, Rossy de Palma, Fernando Barbosa, Quim del Rio, Jose Durán, Benjamin Lukovski, Dominic Colón, Rick Cosnett 

Following the death of his son, Jorge travels from conservative Bolivia to NYC to confront Sebastian - his son’s boyfriend. While Jorge struggles to accept the life of his son, Sebastian channels his grief into a bold play honoring his lost love.

Luis Gamarra	...	Real Gabriel Patricia García	Patricia García	...	Bina (as Pati García) Tommy Heleringer	Tommy Heleringer	...	TJ Modesto Lacen	Modesto Lacen	...	Padre Jaime (as Modesto Lacén) Manuel Landivar	Manuel Landivar	...	Christian / Gabriel 6 Benjamin Lukovski	Benjamin Lukovski	...	Gabriel 3 Oscar Martínez	Oscar Martínez	...	Jorge Dimitri Meskouris	Dimitri Meskouris	...	Manager Spiro Nakai Mirtenbaum	Nakai Mirtenbaum	...	Santos / Gabriel 8 Benazir Añez	Benazir Añez	...	Yashira (as Benariz Añez Mustafá) Enrique Quintero	Enrique Quintero	...	Jailson Ismael Ric	Ismael Ric	...	Daniel / Gabriel 16 Carlos Rocabado	Carlos Rocabado	...	Rodrigo Bobledo Glenda Rodríguez	Glenda Rodríguez	...	Brenda (as Glenda Rodriguez) Andrès Salvatierra	Andrès Salvatierra	...	Muscular Guy (as Andrés Salvatierra)
Tu Me Manques is Bolivia's official Oscars selection for best foreign film.  It is the film adaptation of a groundbreaking play that debuted in the country in 2015.  That play confronted the stigma of homosexuality, by telling the story of a young man who committed suicide because of who he was.  It is not an uncommon occurrence for LGBTQ youths, many of whom are wracked with shame and guilt over their feelings.  In Bolivia and many Latin American countries, there is little acceptance for this lifestyle even among family.  Tu Me Manques explores this and the life of Gabriel, his time in New York finding who he was, and his untimely death as a result.

Tu Me Manques takes pieces of the play and weaves them in with dramatizations of Gabriel's life.  It seems like the play itself tells this story, but we are generally only shown limited sections of the performance so it is tough to tell.  Regardless, this film tells a beautiful and heart wrenching story of a young man who finds himself only to give into fear at a perceived lack of acceptance at home.  The dramatization sequences are well acted with bold characters and plenty of emotion.  As Gabriel's father learns more about his son's life in New York, he sees the life and friends his son found and the place where he could be himself.  And this journey is painful and emotional for all as the father and Gabriel's boyfriend are forced to remember the young man that is no longer there.  And this is accompanied by some amazing music that will amplify your emotions.  This music is dramatic and sometimes soul-touching.

But Tu Me Manques really shines for how bold it is.  Like the play, this film confronts homosexual stereotypes and stigmas head on, but also shows love and sense of community.  In exploring Gabriel's life, his father meets his friends and goes to his old hang outs, finding out how different his lifestyle was, but also how supportive his friends and members of the community are.  Despite being a Bolivian film, it is not afraid to show the conservative, sometimes toxic culture that it comes from.  And I was most impressed with a series of interviews in the film, where gay men talked about the shame that they had in their feelings in honest, sometimes shocking ways.  They touch on family denial, cultural stigma, personal shame, and the strange ways that they went about trying to hide who they were.  This film also doesn't shy away from Gabriel's relationship and the pure love that these two men experience, both physically and emotionally.  The movie is a beautiful, bittersweet film that concludes with a dramatic, climactic ending.  It is definitely not a movie to be missed.

Tu Me Manques is a beautiful, bittersweet, and poignant look into love, the need to be yourself, and the homosexual stigma in Latino culture.

Watch it.

Robb Sherman	...	Taray Orlando Subirana Vaca	Orlando Subirana Vaca	...	Ricardo / Gabriel 14 Babak Tafti	Babak Tafti	...	Adnan Rodrigo Urdidinea	Rodrigo Urdidinea	...	Julio / Gabriel 13 Carlos Valverde	Carlos Valverde	...	Real Father of Gabriel Jose Roberto Velasco	Jose Roberto Velasco	...	Carlos Alberto / Gabriel 11 Andrea Waiss	Andrea Waiss	...	Neilson / Gabriel 7 Ericka Suárez Weise	Ericka Suárez Weise	...	Costume Designer Ricardo Dos Reis Costa	Ricardo Dos Reis Costa	...	Franco / Gabriel 9 Jonhatan Corea	Jonhatan Corea	...	Pipo / Gabriel 15 Luhan Ortiz	Luhan Ortiz	...	Gabriel 17 Santiago Wilkins	Santiago Wilkins	...	Gabriel 18 Erick Robles	Erick Robles	...	Gabriel 19 Ludwing Gil	Ludwing Gil	...	Gabriel 20 Jaime Luzio Bowles	Jaime Luzio Bowles	...	Gabriel 21 Esteban Gómez	Esteban Gómez	...	Gabriel 22 Manuel Bellido	Manuel Bellido	...	Gabriel 23 Miguel Justiniano	Miguel Justiniano	...	Gabriel 24 Felipe Ribera	Felipe Ribera	...	Gabriel 25 Ernesto Vadillo	Ernesto Vadillo	...	Gabriel 26 Leonardo Velarde	Leonardo Velarde	...	Gabriel 27 Rodrigo Ortuno	Rodrigo Ortuno	...	Gabriel 28 Diego Candia	Diego Candia	...	Gabriel 29 Roberto Moreno	Roberto Moreno	...	Gabriel 30 Dayan Huanca	Dayan Huanca	...	Musician Playing Cello Eimar Machado	Eimar Machado	...	Musician Playing Viola Francisco Javier Antelo	Francisco Javier Antelo	...	Musician Playing Violin #1 Junior Tovar	Junior Tovar	...	Musician Playing Violin #2 Ana Asensio	Ana Asensio	...	Andrea
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Tu Me Manques is available in select theaters on April 22, 2021 and available digitally and on DVD on May 4, 2021. For showtimes, click here.

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