THE GARDEN LEFT BEHIND
FLAVIO ALVES | USA, BRAZIL | 2019 | 88 MIN | NR
Beginning with an ecstatic reception and Audience Award win following its SXSW debut, Flavio Alves’s THE GARDEN LEFT BEHIND has become one of the most ubiquitous and celebrated films of the 2019 film festival circuit. Alves and co-writer John Rotando spent years researching the script in order to authentically capture the experiences of undocumented immigrants and the transgender community in New York City. The film finds Mexican trans woman Tina (Carlie Guevara, in her feature debut) working as a gypsy cab driver by night to support her live-in grandmother. She has established a strong network of friends, a supportive psychologist (Ed Asner), and a boyfriend who even takes her on romantic dates. When a member of the community is brutally beaten, Tina is empowered to step out of her comfort zone and begin to speak up for trans rights—even if it jeopardizes her own life. The graceful performance from Guevara complements Alves’s ability to naturally, yet poetically, depict everyday life in NYC. With a large cast featuring many transgender actors (as well as an uncharacteristically warm Michael Madsen in a supporting role), THE GARDEN LEFT BEHIND will be remembered as a seminal film that gives a voice to a once-silenced community.
Cast: Carlie Guevara, Alex Kruz, Michael Madsen, Ed Asner
“It’s one thing to decide to make a movie about the struggles of the transgender community and violent attacks on it. But it’s far harder to turn that message into a film as natural and graceful as THE GARDEN LEFT BEHIND.” –The Hollywood Reporter
Part of the Philadelphia Film Society’s MADE IN USA series.