Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2017-09-20
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage



Chicago Latino Film Festival: Blattangelus
MOVIE REVIEWS Special to the Online Edition of Windy City Times
by Jerry Nunn, Windy City Times

facebook twitter pin it stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email

Director Araceli Santana tackles the touchy subject of homosexuality versus the church in his documentary, Blattangelus, from Mexico.

Mauro Zamora, manager of a seafood restaurant, and his partner, Juan, are getting married—not to prove something but to support each other. It was pretty much love at first sight for the two when they met seven years ago.

Rainbow colors fly as we ease on down the road to the Gay Pride parade in Mexico City, where we find Jorge Sosa from The Metropolitan Community Reconciliation Church. The church he leads has been allowing same-sex couples to wed for the past 25 years.

While society claims that the church is trying to convert the congregation, the church claims that it they only wants respect for everyone.

The movie flashes back and forth, following the history of Jorge's journey through school and his feelings for people of the same gender. He was bullied when he was younger and that shaped him into the person that he is today. He was forced to become a member of the Cub Scouts by his family, and was not treated well. Images are shown of a beautiful Catholic chapel while Jorge recounts the embarrassment of a priest telling to stop his "queer" behavior. He left the church at that point, vowing to never return.

Bouncing back to Mauro and Juan's wedding day, there are some touching moments together with their family as the moment draws closer.

Jorge finally meets Father Miguel, who changes his mind about religion and the capacity to love. He rises from the ashes to make his refuge an "oasis" for people to find water to drink, and where they can learn about transmissions of diseases without shame. Jorge speaks of celibacy and the hypocrisy of the fundamentalist church.

At times, the movie can be a little one-sided on the debate, but when David has to battle Goliath it's fair to root for the underdog. Jorge knows how to defend himself and his followers. It is a joy to watch him stand up and be counted as he prepares to fight politics and the hierarchy. For him and his people, it is a matter of life and death as they watch people around them suffer.

Being a documentary adds weight to this endeavor as we watch a moment of celebration, not of bigotry. With the civil-unions bill recently signed into law in Illinois, it is a perfect time to watch this offering at the Latino Film Festival.

The film gives hope that one day the church and the gay community will come together at some point. Everyone deserves a little dignity and respect, no matter how you feel about the debate. Can I get an amen?

Blattangelus/Another Essay plays Wed., April 6, at 4:30 p.m. at Landmark Century Cinema, 2828 N. Clark. Visit for tickets and more selections during the festival.

I Am the Queen

by Emmanuel Garcia

Eight LGBT films from different Latin American countries are included in the 27th annual Chicago Latino Film Festival. The documentary I Am The Queen, by Josue Pellot and Henrique Cirne-Lima, is the only local LGBT film featured. The duo shot the film in Humboldt Park, a predominantly Puerto Rican neighborhood of Chicago, in the summer of 2010. Pellot said the idea originated when he saw a flier at Cafe Colao: "It just read 'Beauty pageant for Puerto Rican transgender youth from Humboldt Park.' That just grabbed my attention, in terms of identity, thinking, 'Being Puerto Rican, being from Humboldt Park, then being transgender and young.' [ It ] just sounded like a lot to deal with."

At the time of filming, Vida/SIDA, a not-for-profit organization, was organizing its third annual Paseo Boricua pageant. The requirements for participation were that the contestants be at least a quarter Puerto Rican and identified as transgender Latina women.

The film interviews four contestants—Julissa, Bianca, Jolizza and Alayna—about how they perceive themselves as young people within straight and gay communities. They are guided by veteran Chicago HIV activist Ginger Valdez, who volunteers to coordinate the pageant.

Pellot, who grew up in Humboldt Park, said he wasn't surprised to find a close knit transgender community, but "was surprised at how involved the [ Puerto Rican ] Cultural Center and Vida/SIDA was in finding a space for them. Being from the neighborhood, I've seen the girls, I never really spoken to them. To a certain point it was "they" I would use that term."

That all changed, he said, after he discovered that one of the contestants ( Julissa ) was the daughter of Lisa, the owner of Cafe Colao. It is that mother/daughter relationship that is the heart of the film. The interviews with the contestants are candid, but they are always aware of the viewer and, at times, they become apologetic for being too real. Some contestants reveal how difficult it is to transition and identify so early as transgender, consequently sacrificing the support of their families.

Cirne-Lima said the documentary is a glimpse into the lives of these four people, "but in the subtext, in the things that are happening, you see all these other issues of homophobia, colonialism, community identification." Before David Sotomayor, who performs as "Jade," appeared on the first season of RuPaul's Drag Race he won the Paseo Boricua pageant in 2007. Jade makes a brief appearance to hand over the crown and can be seen as an example of the talent that has come out of this community.

Historically, Valdez is emblematic of the hard work transgender women of color contributed to the LGBT movement, and the four young characters are demonstrate how far and how short that distance still is. These four young people defy what it means to win, especially when it can appear against all odds.

Undoubtedly, viewers will find that the LGBT Puerto Rican community in Chicago has a long history of organizing; however, most importantly, the viewers will notice that the community is united to take on future challenges.

I Am The Queen will screen April 1 and 14 ( 8 p.m. ) at Instituto Cervantes of Chicago, 31 W. Ohio. To view a complete film festival schedule visit .

facebook twitter pin it stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email

Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


Two projects of lesbian-owned tello Films nominated for honors 2017-09-22
Indie film raises awareness of dangers of sex trafficking 2017-09-20
NUNN ON ONE: TELEVISION Rumer Willis spins tunes and tales at Hard Rock 2017-09-20
REELING FILM FESTIVAL Nelson Rodriguez tackles immigration, love in 'En Algun Lugar' 2017-09-20
NUNN ON ONE: FILM Fawzia Mirza shows viewers 'Signature Move' 2017-09-20
Reeling 35 LGBTQ film fest in Chicago offers variety Sept. 21-28 2017-09-20
Showbiz news: 'Will & Grace,' drag show, Mario Lopez, Rosie's ex dies 2017-09-20
Reeling LGBTQ film festival kicks off Sept. 21 at Music Box Theatre 2017-09-18
Politics, diversity dominate Emmys 2017-09-18
Lesbian filmmaker readies final episodes of Riley Parra web series 2017-09-13
Mirza movie to debut Sept. 28 at Music Box 2017-09-13
MOVIES Del Shores film a 'Sordid' affair 2017-09-13
Showbiz news: Todrick Hall, Ellen Page, Jake Gyllenhaal, immigration projects 2017-09-13
NUNN ON ONE George Takei gets political, talks future plans 2017-09-06
Showbiz: Reese Witherspoon, Tyra Sanchez, Aaron Rodgers, Whitney Houston 2017-09-05
Scenes from forthcoming film Take Me to Church to be presented live 2017-08-30
MOVIES Alt-wrong: Bridget Evertett breaks through 2017-08-30
Mirza movie to debut Sept. 28 at Music Box 2017-08-30
Showbiz news: Laverne Cox, Logic, Gloria Estefan, 'Teen Wolf' 2017-08-29
Comic Con has another banner year 2017-08-29
Activist, award-winning LGBTQ filmmaker JD Disalvatore lost to cancer 2017-08-28
Pennycuff apartments featured in film short 2017-08-28
Cinema/Chicago, Chicago International Film Festival roll out roster of films 2017-08-23
Showbiz news: George Michael, Oprah, Adore Delano, Imagine Dragons 2017-08-23
Madonna concert film out Sept. 15 2017-08-23
Reeling LGBTQ film festival announces Sept. 21-28 lineup 2017-08-18
George Takei in Chicago on Sept. 7 2017-08-16
BLACK ALPHABET FILM FESTIVAL Jewel Thais-Williams and nightclub subject of documentary 2017-08-16
Ken Burns to discuss 'Vietnam War' Sept. 7 2017-08-16
Reeling film festival returns Sept. 21-28 2017-08-16
Manolo Blahnik film out Sept. 22 2017-08-16
MOVIES Filmmakers discuss documentary about Ferguson uprising 2017-08-09
Showbiz news: Lady Gaga, Patti LaBelle, 'The L Word,' Louis Tomlinson 2017-08-08
Ken Burns here to screen The Vietnam War Sept. 7 2017-08-05
tello Films first lesbian network to receive Emmy nomination 2017-08-03
Showbiz news: Kerry Washington, 'Magic Mike,' Jinkx Monsoon, Ricky Martin 2017-08-02
Black Alphabet Film Festival Aug. 18-19 2017-08-02
Cinema/Chicago honors Jane Fonda 2017-07-31
FILM REVIEW Atomic Blonde 2017-07-30
Black Alphabet Film Festival reigniting in 2017 return 2017-07-26

Copyright © 2017 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.








About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Submit an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.