“My Straight Son” (“Azul y no tan rosa”) is the Venezuelan actor/writer/director Miguel Ferrari’s first major feature length film, and his ‘opera prima’ that deals with social intolerance against homosexuality won him recognition from around the world, as well as the prize for Best Iberian-American Film at the Goya Awards, Spain’s equivalent to the American Academy Awards. Aside from superb acting, writing and music, the story’s main attack on the ridiculousness of homophobia and its sincere portrayal of family is what brought this Venezuelan film across the borders with such success.
Ferrari stated in an interview with the Spanish film review "El Antepenultimo Mohicano" that in his home country of Venezuela there has always been a ridged taboo against homosexuality, and the few times homosexual characters have actually been presented in Venezuelen cinema, they have been portrayed “through a burlesque and disrespectful perspective”. He added that television and cinema, despite having the power to change social paradigms, is as responsible as any other field of media production for the distorted representation of LGBTI characters and topics that have been disseminated to the public, and above all to the youth.
Ferrari, who left Venezuela to study cinema production in Spain and subsequently returned to produce films in his home country, acknowledged the great risks involved in undertaking a project like “My Straight Son”; despite the good social intentions of the script, if carried out improperly a film such as this can actually run the risk of offending viewers even within the LGBTI community.
However, that has clearly not been the case with this film, which has moved viewers towards the ideal of social openness and understanding in audiences throughout the world. Most importantly, the film has made a great impact in Ferrari’s home country of Venezuela, where the subject of homosexuality has been particularly ignored, even in comparison to other Latin American countries that maintain a similar streak of social conservatism and homophobia within their societies. In the last decade, a couple of important films containing LGBTI subjects came from joint projects involving Argentine, Uruguay and Spain, from the writer/director Lucia Puenzo, a Buenos Aires native.
To see those films, check out “XXY” and “The Fish Child” (“El niño pez”). In addition, the theme of social intolerance is not only confined to topics of sexuality; in fact, “Bad Hair” (“Pelo malo”) will be showing on Sunday at Cine Magnifico, a film that involves filmmakers in Argentina, Venezuela and Peru, deals with similar social pressures that arise from homophobia and engrained class distinctions.
Clearly there is a tide of films with intense messages and depictions of social issues that are often overlooked, left under the table in the proverbial dining room of Latin American culture and society. Look no further than our film lineup this year at Cine Magnifico, not only including “My Straight Son” and “Bad Hair”, but also “The Golden Dream”, which deals sincerely with intense social pressures and culturally ignored subjects.
“My Straight Son” will be a moving and enlightening film screening, not only for Miguel Ferrari’s prize-winning script and cinematic direction, but also for the way this film fits into the rising trends of Latin American cinema over the course of the last two years. “My Straight Son” will be our Showcase Film on Saturday night, September 12th @ 8 PM. See you there for a wonderful showcase presentation!!