June is Gay Pride Month and even though the month is over, there’s still lots to celebrate. Thanks to the Supreme Court’s recent decision to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act gay couples will have their nuptials recognized by the federal government. Two days after the ruling, a green card application from a gay couple was approved for the first time in this country. Are you jumping up and down yet?!?
So, if you’re exhausted from celebrating and marching in the Pride Parade this past weekend then sit back and relax on the couch. Here are two LGBT Latina films you can enjoy at home. There’s nothing wrong with being an armchair revolutionary once in a while.
Mosquita y Mari
Director: Aurora Guerrero
Determined to challenge Hollywood’s lack of diverse stories Aurora Guerrero set out to make a film that reflected her own identity as a queer woman of color. The result is Mosquita y Mari, a sensitive, bold, and thoughtful portrait of two teenage Chicanas whose budding friendship begins to slowly become something beyond just friends. In the film, set in Huntington Park, a predominantly Latino city just outside Los Angeles, Mari is a rebellious bad girl who is failing math. Straight-A student Yolanda — who Mari nicknames Mosquita because she looks like, “a pinche mosquita” — offers to tutor her. They hang out, ride bikes, swap music, and do homework. As they spend more and more time together their friendship subtly transforms, evoking that butterflies-in-the-stomach feeling that only a first crush can. It’s a beautifully told almost love story set to the music of local ska bands, the melancholy vocals of Carla Morrison, and other genre-remixing Latino artists.
Joven y Alocada (Young & Wild)
Director: Marialy Rivas
Before the days of Facebook and Twitter, filmmaker Marialy Rivas stumbled upon a blog that she fell in love with. The posts were written by an anonymous blogger who went by the screen name Joven y Alocada (Young & Wild). Amidst the raunchy stories of explicit sexual encounters were tender moments where the young blogger was coming to terms with her strict evangelical upbringing. Marialy sent messages to the blogger, they met in person, and eventually worked together to write dialogues for a film based on her life as a teenager growing up in Chile. They created Daniela, the main character of the film, a 17 year-old who falls in love with both a guy and a girl. She juggles the relationships, trying to avoid one from finding out about the other. Daniela documents all her sexual exploits in a blog that develops a huge following.
The film, Joven y Alocada (Young & Wild) — taking its name from the real-life blog — is playful, frenetic, and exuberant, mimicking teenaged Daniela’s explosive sexual urges. A barrage of images, graphics, on-screen text, pictures, cartoons, and clips of porn movies put you inside Daniela’s blog, immersed in her virtual world of instant messages, blog comments, emails, and anonymous encounters. It’s a coming-of-age story that deals with female sexuality in a frank way that’s rarely seen in film. It’s like a female indie version of American Pie, but with a heart.