Wednesday, September 4th, 2019

Bittersweet Waters : Being in love & true to oneself in rural Mexico


Chicago based Jesús Canchola Sánchez’s  hauntingly beautiful film is one of the most impressive  LGBTQ feature film debuts we have seen in a very long time.. Most of the credit goes to Sánchez who not only wrote and directed it, but he also produced  and starred in it too.

As the title hints, this is a bittersweet love story of two gay men who live in a tiny village in the Mexican countryside.  It’s the kind of place where everyone not only knows your name, but also insists of having a nose in your business too.  So being openly gay in this traditional and conservative backwater is not an option.

Atl (played by Sánchez) and Diego (Ramón Varela) have been lovers since they were 15 years old and have been inseparable ever since.  Now as grown men there is pressure on them to get married to some local girls  and start their own families. Diego has relented and has been dating Dolores (Denis Montes) although he still manages to end up in Atl’s bed every single night.

Things have to change when Dolores becomes pregnant and Diego has no other option than to marry her.   If that is not bad enough for Atl who became independent wealthy when his father died and left him several properties, he has to cope with his scheming mother who desperately wants to get her hands on some of the inheritance which she believed should have been hers 

There is no love lost between Atl and his mother, and he looks up to his elderly paternal grandmother, who was the one that raised him and still runs the household. Both mother and grandmither are aware of Atl’s secuality and his secret liasions with Diego, but whilst his mother uses that as a means to get some sort hold over her son, the grandmother is completely supportive in her own silent way.

As the melodrama builds with Dolores trying to ban her husband-to-be from seeing Atl who he obviously loves more than her, and the mother persuades her own idiot gigolo boyfriend to try and rob Atl, it is obviously there has to be some changes in everyone’s lives from now on.  It falls to Atl, who throughout has shown determination and glimpses of hidden strength, to come to a decision that will inevitably change all their lives.  And not all for the better.

There is such an remarkable authenticity to the film, one cannot help but wonder if it is in part Sánchez’s own story . Each of the characters are well-rounded and give the actors meaty roles that they can really inhabit and make significant contributions to this immensely moving   story. The two men have such a perfect chemistry with each other that makes their passion and their commitment to each other so very real indeed.  This is after all neither a gay story, or an anti-straight story, it is simply a beautiful told love story that so deserves to have a happy ever after ending.

Posted by queerguru  at  13:17



Genres:  drama, international, romance

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