aGLIFF 2010 (Austin Gay and Lesbian International Film Festival)
By Don Simpson | September 7, 2010
Director: Julia Solomonoff
Writer: Julia Solomonoff
Starring: Guadalupe Alonso, Gabo Correa, María Clara Merendino, Mirella Pascual, Guillermo Pfening
People seem to be undergoing drastic changes around Jorgelina (Guadalupe Alonso). Jorgelina’s older sister, Luciana (María Clara Merendino), has begun collecting her monthly bill and officially enters the world of push-up bras and feminine hygiene products (a.k.a. adolescence). With hormones a blazing, Luciana only cares about boys now; suddenly, Jorgelina has gone from playmate and friend to a mere annoyance to her sister.
Rather than going on a beach vacation with her mother and hormonal sister, Jorgelina opts to travel to the Argentinean countryside – the Pampas – with her father (Gabo Correa) to spend the summer swimming and horseback riding. Lonely for a playmate, Jorgelina desperately shadows a young and withdrawn ranch hand, Mario (Nicolás Treise). But Mario has little time for childish recreation; not only must Mario assist his aging father (Arnoldo Treise) with the daily chores around the ranch, but he is also in training for his horse racing premiere.
As the summer plows forth, Jorgelina and Mario become increasingly close. One day, Mario begins to bleed from his crotch – something Jorgelina knows (from her father’s medical texts) that males do not normally do. As it turns out, Mario is also experiencing a sexual transformation not unlike Luciana. Jorgelina and Mario are faced with an awkward and extremely personal truth that Mario’s parents would prefer to continue to deny.
The Last Summer of La Boyita is an intimate and emotional tale that delightfully unravels the mysteries of sexuality amongst youth and the proverbial loss of innocence. Writer-director Julia Solomonoff based the screenplay on her own personal experiences, lending to the unadulterated realism. Solomonoff skillfully takes the show don’t tell approach to filmmaking, opting to rely more on visual storytelling than verbal. The two young lead actors – Guadalupe Alonso and Nicolás Treise – are impeccably self-aware; a significant portion of their stories, and the resulting dramatic and emotional tension, is expressed silently via their facial expressions.
A beautiful, honest and poignant statement about inter-sexuality, The Last Summer of La Boyita cleverly uses the summer as a metaphor for the shedding of layers. Summer is the season during which time people shed their clothing to reveal more of their outer selves, but internal truths are divulged as well.