Image+Nation festival: A film review of “La Partida”
Monday night, after a weekend of existential crises over exam period, I saw the film “La Partida” (or “The Last Match”) which was part of the Image+Nation LGBT film festival.The film was shown in its original Spanish with French subtitles at Cinéma Beaubien.
Upon my arrival, I was informed that the theatre was full and there was no room for me. Image+Nation was seemingly a victim of its own success as there were at least a dozen other disappointed movie goers obliged to spend their evenings alternatively. After shedding a river of tears over the 15 bucks I’d spent on a taxi to make sure I wasn’t too late (I got there at 7:18PM and it started at 7:15PM), I finally came to terms with my own personal tragedy, hiked up my grown-up-pants and concentrated on assuring my place at the next screening I’d like to attend.
I waited around in my regular poker face as the hosts guided the last few people to their seats. (I don’t think this festival is used to having over-booked screenings. That’s a good sign for them though.) A few minutes later, one of the hosts came back and informed me that there was a single free seat left in the theatre that I could sit in if it so pleased me. Obviously I took it. It was front row and my back still hurts but it was totes worth it. I quite enjoyed the movie.
The film is about two soccer playing men in Havana, Cuba who fall for each other and have to keep it on the down low as one has a wife and child and the other is living with his girlfriend and her homophobic gangster father. Also, I imagine Havana may not be the safest place to be an out gay couple especially since they live in a rougher part of town where violent crimes are recurrent.
Reiner, the baby daddy, keeps his family afloat betting on shell games after soccer and sleeping with tourists he picks up hanging out around the peers at night. Although his customers are exclusively male, when Yosvani, his soccer bud, first makes a move on him, he insists he is not gay.
As you’ve probably guessed already, Reiner eventually comes around. Though Yosvani did need to give him ecstasy on a wild night on the town with their ladies for him to finally let his guard down. Soon they are giddily sneaking around back alleys and rooftops and enjoying their forbidden fruit in the open comfort of rainbows and secrecy.
This film is a modern day hispanic tragedy. I’m not going to give any more away but I will say that things get increasingly complicated when Reiner gets drafted by some fancy soccer team and the homophobic gangster catches the couple being very friendly towards each other. I grew quite fond of the characters in this film and was quite upset that I should be forced to fight tears because of their demise.
Should you have the chance, check out “La Partida.”
Finally, be sure to stop by Image+Nation’s site for a complete list of the screenings. Hurry though, the festival concludes this Friday evening.