Saturday, April 30, 2016
'Holiday' DVD: Gay Coming-of-Age in Ecuador
The recent tla releasing DVD release of the 2014 Ecuadorian drama "Holiday" illustrates how queer cinema has expanded to mainstream genres. Central character teen boy Juan Pablo develops his first (possibly unreciprocated) crush while on a family vacation from Hell. In other word, it is a film of a Judy Blume novel for twinks.
The titular journey commences with Juan Pablo and his mother arriving at the hacienda in the Andes where his uncle, his aunt, and their children are living in exile in the wake of a nationwide scandal that is centering around the uncle. Many kids across the globe can relate to a girl cousin of Juan Pablo warmly greeting him only to have his taller and heavier male cousin commence visit-long verbal and physical abuse. Long-standing tension between the adults provides another reason for our hero to wish that he had stayed home alone.
The aforementioned scandal puts a very human picture on the financial scandals that define our generation. We see that the people behind them are not complete monsters but still see the devastation from their acts.
Emo Juan Pablo getting caught up in an adventure leads to meeting working-class bad boy Juano and subsequently getting wrapped up in the world of this metal-music loving grease monkey. Anyone who is familiar with tla releasing or gay-themed films generally can predict Juan Pablo falling in love with Juano. Whether Juano does (or can) share those feelings provides some of the "Holiday" drama.
It is equally likely that many gay teens can relate to Juan Pablo sneaking peeks at a shirtless Juano, aching to express his feelings. and then taking the monumental risk of going for it. On the other side, the object of that affection must decide how to respond. The gamut of choices runs from a literal gas bashing to a night of youthful exuberance. As daring real teens know, the reality often lies in between those extremes.
The two young leads playing their parts well greatly contributes to the success of "Holiday." Juan Pablo is not a complete doe-eyed innocent, and Juano is not a total metal-head hooligan. These lad are simply congenial boys from different backgrounds.
Anyone with questions or comments regarding "Holiday" is welcome to email me; you can also connect on Twitter via @tvdvdguy.