Monday, June 12, 2017

QWOCFF: Tenacious for Love

“Tenacious for Love” (shorts program) 👏
Queer Women of Color Film Festival
Sunday, June 11, 6:00 p.m., Brava Theater

Raquel López, Robin Cloud, Jai Lei Yee
Jay Roque, Raquel Stratton, Jay Gash
Monique Dismuke, Lorena Arriola
Erinn Carter, Monica James, Sabine Talaugon
Monica Ortiz, Denise W. Henderson, Tina Takemoto

Out Again by Robin Cloud, 2016. A queer Black couple go to visit one set of parents to tell them they got married, but Mom’s health situation makes things much more complicated, raising the possibility of having to go back in the closet. Very well done exploration of the intersection of issues of lesbian relationships, aging parents, and the closet. Highly recommended. • IMDb pageofficial websitewatch on vimeo

Introspection by Jay Roque, 2016. A mother and daughter have engaged in a series of philosophical conversations around, but never directly about, the daughter coming out as a lesbian, but the mother has gradually moved towards acceptance because she values her daughter’s happiness and well-being above abstract notions of morality. Well done, recommended.

Believe by Denise W. Henderson, 2016. A woman expunges the sinister malevolence of rapists in poetic form. Challenging subject matter, but forthrightly confronted. Well done, recommended.

Take Care by Jay Gash, 2016. Three queer women affirm mind, body, spirit, and themselves by exploring the “yoni-verse” of self-love and self-actualization. Well done, highly recommended.

Algo Actual by Lorena Arriola, 2017. With glitter and paint, a blunt, and some food to slowly savor, a woman transmutes her pain. The audience laughed several times, but honestly I didn’t feel like I was in on the jokes; most of them went right over my head. Recommended.

Dyeing Eggs by Monica Ortiz, 2017. The ancient gods are sitting around a table, pondering the limits of their powers while dyeing eggs and complaining that “Yeezus is stealing all my Twitter followers!” Cute, light-hearted fun. Recommended.

The Courage to Be by Raquel Stratton, 2016. A man and woman who are romantic partners come out to each other as a lesbian and a gay man. The woman goes to QWOCFF and decides to make a film. Good decision! Getting your own images on film is a great way to help create your authentic self. Recommended.

Gumshuda (The Missing) (गुमशुदा) by Monica James & Trupti Kanade, 2016. At the temple of Goludev (गॊलू दॆवता) in India, a temple scribe writes people’s prayers (especially prayers for justice) so the god can answer them. Among the prayers we find a woman who prays for her husband to divorce her, because that is the only way she can see out of her untenable marriage. I didn’t quite grasp the connection binding the stories together, but the film is well made and interesting. Recommended.

To Be Me by Reva P., 2017. A mother tells her young daughter that her prospective stepfather lives in a castle, so she will be able to live as a princess, but the little girl doesn’t want to be a princess, she wants to be a superhero! Her best friend gives her a Captain America action figure, which fits much more readily into her dreams. Cute, recommended.

My Femme is a Reflection by Jai Lei Yee, 2016. What does it mean to be a femme? Our protagonist is a gender-fluid femme, pondering, “How do I write myself gently? Healing is not about ‘getting over it’; healing is about living well in the aftermath.” Well done, meditative, self-affirming film, highly recommended.

Semiotics of Sab by Tina Takemoto, 2016. The filmmaker explores queer Japanese American masculinity in a poetic paean to a mentor. Interesting, but the abstract framing of the film, as explained by the filmmaker in the Q&A, didn’t really come through in the film itself. Recommended.

Breaking Frailty Myths by Erinn Carter & Sabine Talaugon, 2016. (No, not former teen pop star Aaron Carter, something a little more substantive.) Mainstream American culture defines femininity as weakness and vulnerability, but we can break free of such myths and discover our own inner strength while defining our own gender identity. Well done, highly recommended. • official website • Twitter: @FrailtyMyths • Instagram: FrailtymythsFacebook • watch on vimeo

Smokey by Monique Dismuke, 2017. “Oh my god, there’s a man in the women’s bathroom!” But is there really? We live in a crazy world with gender police trying to check your private parts before letting you pee in peace, but what if the world were different? This short takes a concise look at one very personal piece of the culture wars. Recommended.

Marco Territorio by Raquel N. López, 2017. “My father taught me to use a hammer so I wouldn’t ever need a man. The poor man had no idea how far I would take it.” Through reclaiming the right to engage in both “masculine” and “feminine” activities, we learn how to “be your own ‘buen macho.’” Recommended.

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