A married father is torn between his male lover and the pressures of his wealthy, zealously religious family in this drama from Ixcanul director Jayro Bustamante.
Unlike many films about gay self-actualization, Temblores begins after its protagonist, married father of two Pablo (Juan Pablo Olyslager), has already embraced his identity as a gay man and embarked on a new life with his boyfriend Francisco (Mauricio Armas). The film is concerned with the aftershocks of Pablo’s decision, and the tyrannical efforts of his well-heeled family to bring him back into the fold. Pablo’s sheltered wife Isa (Diane Bathen) teeters between self-blame and vengeful rage, while his parents and siblings resort to increasingly manipulative measures, including a stay at a nightmarish pray-the-gay-away camp. Bustamante harrowingly dramatizes the ways Pablo’s family weaponizes his personal freedom against him, juxtaposing their harshness with the tenderness of Pablo’s interactions with Francisco. It’s easy to understand that Pablo deserves his freedom and happiness, but harder to grasp the sacrifices he must make in order to live his life honestly—especially when his relationship with his children is threatened. Never glib about the complexity of balancing one’s personal truth with the constraints of family, church, and society, Temblores asks the painful question: “Do we have the right to be happy if it hurts other people?”
CAST: JUAN PABLO OLYSLAGER, MAURICIO ARMAS, DIANE BATHEN, MARÍA TELÓN
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