Friday, May 7, 2021


On VOD this month:

Tu Me Manques--The title of this Bolivian production translates, from the French, as "I miss you." But the phrase is thought to have a more complex connotation; it's said here to suggest something like "I miss me in you," and it's this sense of traumatic loss, almost of amputation, that is explored in this drama about gay suicide.

Gabriel, a young Bolivian man living in New York, ends his relationship with his boyfriend Sebastian, leaves town and then takes his own life rather than come out to his conservative family back home. His devastated, enraged father Jorge travels to New York to meet Sebastian and try to learn what he didn't know about his son.

Sebastian (Fernando Barbosa), another Bolivian expat, is no less angry and heartbroken; nonetheless he takes Jorge (Oscar Martinez) in, and introduces him to his son's friends. They turn out to be well-played but familiar stock gay characters, bitchy but nurturing, and gradually their hospitality begins to wear down Jorge's judgmental defenses.

Sebastian is also producing a performance piece about Gabriel, which allows writer-director Rodrigo Bellott, adapting his own play, some dreamlike theatrical flourishes; there are also some fourth-wall touches. But the real power of Tu Me Manques is the performances of Barbosa and the Argentinian star Martinez, who lash out at each with electric fury, yet always with an undercurrent of their shared love.

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