DMovies - Your platform for thought-provoking cinema

You’ll Never Be Alone (Nunca Vas a Estar Solo)

Director - Álex Anwandter - 2016

"Greasy movie"
Chile is a country slowly healing the deep wounds of homophobia, and Álex Anwandter's cinema debut is picking the scabs

Chile is one of the most socially conservative countries in South America. It first legalised divorce after a legal crusade against the Catholic Church in 2004, and LGBT civil partnerships only received official recognition last December. This is in contrast to neighbours Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay, which fully recognised gay marriage (and not just civil unions) years ago.

You’ll Never Be Alone is the first movie by Chilean musician Álex Anwandter, a fictionalised account of a gay murder. The film is loosely based on the homophobic torture and murder of Daniel Zamudio in 2012, a case widely disseminated by the Chilean media, and a powerful reminder of the country’s ambiguous attitude towards homosexuals.

Pablo (Andrew Bargsted) is an effeminate gay teenager living with his avuncular and shy father Juan (Sergio Hernández). He often has sex with his neighbour Félix, his best friend is a young lesbian, and he seems very comfortable in his own skin. One day he is severely beaten by a group of homophobic thugs, of which Félix is part. He survives, but is left severely disfigured in hospital. The film title refers to what one of the thugs tells his victim Pablo: “we will never leave you alone”.

Juan often boasts that it is a hard-working Chileans like him that help to build a great country. To his disappointment, both the Chilean health and the justice system fail his son: the crime perpetrators are identified but never punished, and Juan has to pay himself for the face reconstruction surgeries of his son. He has worked in a mannequin factory (pictured above) for 25 years, but his boss also lets him down when he most needs him. Juan then resorts to desperate measures in order to obtain the large sum of money required for his son’s surgeries.

It appears that Chile’s health and justice system are just broken as the country’s socially conservative values. Juan’s tragic story is an expression of the country’s equivocal stance towards gays and lesbians, and it will play a significant role in the country’s recent history of LGBT rights.

The film opens with a powerful sequence of a Pablo dancing in women’s clothing in his own bedroom. Private dance is always liberating in cinema, and here it is symbolic of confined gay freedom. In contrast, the rest of the film is bleak and somber, with good performances combined with distant and timid camerawork.

Sadly the film is too short. This, combined with the dark and sinister atmosphere, obscures some of the performances and makes it difficult to engage with the characters, particularly Pablo. Perhaps the film’s photography is not entirely suitable for such a politically and emotionally charged theme.

Also, the movie relies too heavily on music (part of it composed by the director himself) and on the mannequin symbolism. The dummies are as passive to this horrific crime as most of the real humans in the story. Nevertheless, it remains a politically relevant and engrossing film.

You’ll Never Be Alone premiered in Europe in February 2016 as part of the Panorama Session of the 66th Berlin Film Festival. It won a special jury prize, and DMovies believes that it will be taken into the LGBT film circuit in most of Europe and beyond. Watch out for it!



"Greasy movie"

By Victor Fraga - 03-03-2016

By Victor Fraga - 03-03-2016

Victor Fraga is a Brazilian born and London-based writer wit...

DMovies Poll

Are the Oscars dirty enough for DMovies?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Most Read

History repeats itself again and again. Ex-Shaman portrays [Read More...]
Just a few years back, finding a film [Read More...]
For me, film festivals are exciting because they [Read More...]
Pigs might fly. And so Brexit might happen. [Read More...]
When people die, they are taken to the [Read More...]
John (Costas Mandylor) says, “your mother didn’t like [Read More...]

Read More

How about a new Cleopatra movie?

 

Tim Werner - 18-04-2019

It is a movie that has been speculated about for almost a decade, but rumours have once again emerged this year regarding the prospect of a new big-screen take on the story of Cleopatra! [Read More...]

Where Hands Touch

Amma Asante
2019

Lucas Pistilli - 17-04-2019

Black girl meets white boy in Nazi Germany, what could go wrong? Romantic war drama raises questions about unshakeable national identity, in a story with many parallels to the Brexit narrative - in cinemas Friday, May 10th [Read More...]

Dragged Across Concrete

S. Craig Zahler
2018

Jeremy Clarke - 15-04-2019

Refrigerator. Dead rat. Dirty characters exhibit misogyny and racism in this bleak vision and slow burning, edge-of-the-seat thriller - in cinemas from Friday, April 19th [Read More...]

Facebook Comment

Website Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *