El Calentito

El Calentito

Spain, 2005, 89 Minute Running Time
Genre/Subjects: Bisexual, Drama, Lesbian, Music / Music Video, Spanish, Transgender
Program: World Cinema
Language: English

DIRECTOR: Chus Gutierrez

Presided over by motherly transsexual Antonia (Nuria Gonzalez), Madrid’s El Calentito is a hot spot where gays, lesbians, bisexuals, straights and everything in between enjoy the freedom of a freshly democratic Spain. That pansexual vibe and the punk rock bands appeal to virginal but rebellious teenager Sara (Veronica Sanchez), who sees the nightclub as a refuge from her dictatorial mother.
It seems like a dream come true when lesbian Carmen (Ruth Diaz) and free-spirited Leo (Macarena Gomez) ask her to join their all-girl group Las Sioux, and she catches the eye of their hunky manager Ernesto (Juan Sanz). But on February 23, 1981, just as the band is about to perform for a high-powered record executive, remnants of the fascist Franco regime stage a coup d’état, leaving not just El Calentito’s but Spain’s future in doubt.
Built around a real event and as energetic as the punk music that propels its feverish rhythm, Chus Gutiérrez’s grungy, spirited comedy is deceptively simple. Framed as one girl’s coming-of-age story — in which her eyes are opened to all sorts of sexual, romantic and chemical possibilities — Sara’s tale also stands in for the “La Movida” movement that gave rise to such artists as Pedro Almodóvar. While Sara’s mother and what is left of the regime cling to their old, repressive ways, the teen and her friends at El Calentito revel in the new liberty, knowing that this is their moment. — PAM GRADY


San Francisco LGBT Community Center


Joie de Vivre Hospitality

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