Rara

DIRECTOR: Pepa San Martín

With her first feature film, writer-director Pepa San Martín delivers a powerful but brilliantly subtle family drama. The story, which is both a poignant coming-of-age tale and a based-on-a-true-story account of a same-gender marriage threatened by social forces, begins with a tableau of relative domestic harmony: Paula (Mariana Loyola) lives with her partner, Lía, and her two daughters, Sarah and Catalina. Her ex-husband, Victor, lives nearby with his new wife, Nicole, and the girls shift easily between the two homes. But internal tensions and external pressures slowly begin to unravel the family tapestry. Standard mother-daughter squabbles and explosive moments of adolescent angst that are par for the course in any family spark heightened anxieties in a family with lesbian parents living in a conservative-leaning community—an outwardly tolerant environment with a latent underpinning of insinuation and judgment.

Co-written by Chilean director Alicia Scherson, the story is told chiefly from Sarah’s perspective, as she rides a tumultuous wave of pubescence toward her 13th birthday. As an eldest daughter and a child of divorce, Sarah (an exceptional Julia Lubbert) is well versed in the maneuvers needed to play one parent against another in order to get what she wants, but she has little understanding of the potential consequences for their fragile family dynamic. Unlike in most divorce dramas, the custody battle that looms on the horizon is not the focus of Rara—it is the everyday moments driving its characters to the precipice that are the true source of its power and authenticity.

— Joanne Parsont

AT&T Audience Award Text Voting Code: F128




PRECEDED BY:
Xavier
DIR Ricky Mastro 2015 Brazil 13 min

Upon discovering his 11-year-old son Xavier’s attraction to boys, Nicolas follows the growth of his son through their shared love of music.

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