Director/writer/editor Eusebio Pastrana’s début film is a beautifully crafted, marvellously whimsical essay on the human experience. Virtually every life-and-death experience finds its way to the screen surrounded by 101 kisses (no, one hundred wouldn’t be quite enough) of all persuasions (gay, straight, confused) and purpose (romance, compassion, joy and—hilariously—artificial insemination aid of a different sort of head-to-head contact).
The slight storyline (a committed gay couple wish to have a child) provides just enough impetus to allow a truly fantastic look at family, friends and passersby (the man who looks as if he’d rather be in Swan Lake flitting across the screen is a deft touch) who—in one way or another—struggle with the unassailable fact that we are all of us different from one another. Numerous excursions to other issues (notably, Is God gay?; an orthodontically challenged girl about to be moved from her natural mom to Mom II becomes a superhero lesbian) only add to the magical tone of anything goes. Was that how the world felt in 1995?
The actors exude warmth and understanding from the smitten, childless men (Alejandro Torus, Olav Fernández) through their potential female incubators (Arantxa Valdiva, Carolina Toucedato, Guadalupe Pérez Lancho) to a widower who has never really gotten over the twin loss of his favourite soccer team and the fact that his only son prefers a hairy chest over a life-providing one.
The generous music tracks come to vibrant life courtesy of the Big Bean & The Human Bean Band (original music by Her Space Holiday, Murmur) whether setting the stage for a remarkably comforting suicide (“Six Feet Under”) or the universal realization that “problems are solved by forgetting them.” On many occasions, the ecstasy of the moment or desperation of the situation are expressed with spinning bodies: solo, in pairs, trios or the whole neighbourhood joining together and literally dealing with their emotions through rhythmic physical release.
The whole planet would benefit from a viewing of this creative production that approaches the dizzying heights of self-acceptance and need for tolerance with every single rotation. JWR