December 11, 2014
In this new weekly article, we're bringing to your attention an independent film we (or one of our community members) feels is an exceptional expression of the opportunity of independent cinema. This came from a demand that arose out of the #filmcurious twitter chat on November 25th about diversity in storytelling. We want to point you to the powerhouse performances we need to watch over and over. To the incredible cinematography that should be taught in the film classes of 2020. To the directors who are finally giving a voice to the audiences who have been underserved by the last 100 years of moving pictures.
This week, it's Mosquita Y Mari.
What I loved about it:
This wonderful debut feature was written and directed by Aurora Guerrero. It is the best kind of coming of age film—quiet and tender, bringing us uncomfortably close to the two main characters without judgement, all while pulsing with a hormone-infused tension (in this case, that of a complicated friendship).
Fenessa Pineda and Venecia Troncoso (playing Yolanda “Mosquita” and Mari, respectively) are incredible! The film relies almost entirely on their ability to express emotions that their characters can’t vocalize and I have to imagine the director was in no small part responsible for creating a safe space for the actors to give these kinds of remarkable performances. The world is in great need of the next generation of power-house Chicana actresses, and by gosh, we found at least two here. Do not sleep on them, premiem television casting directors!
Why you should watch it:
The awesome performances. Duh.
Oh, and supporting the career of a woman of color whose films we hope to see for many years to come.
Where you can watch it:
It's on Netflix streaming, and apparently no place else. Let's track this over the next several months and see what trends emerge. I'm sorry this film isn't available absolutely everywhere to everyone.
Who made it:
Aurora Guerrero is a Chicana filmmaker, LGBT director, and screenwriter. She was born in San Francisco to Mexcican immigrant parents and later attended UC Berkley, majoring in Psychology and Chicano Studies. Getting her start as an assistant on the set of Real Women Have Curves, Aurora became one of the few Chicana Sundance Institute and Ford Foundation Fellows and the first to afterwards debut a feature length film at Sundance where she premiered Mosquita Y Mari in 2012. Follow her on twitter @aurog24.