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Jordan Mitchell
Jordan Mitchell

I Carry You With Me(2020)

I Carry You with Me (Te Llevo Conmigo) is a 2020 Spanish-language drama film directed by Heidi Ewing, from a screenplay by Ewing and Alan Page Arriaga. It stars Armando Espitia, Christian Vázquez, Michelle Rodríguez, Ángeles Cruz, Arcelia Ramírez and Michelle González.

I Carry You with Me(2020)


Based on true love, this decades spanning romance begins in Mexico between an aspiring chef (Armando Espitia) and a teacher (Christian Vázquez). Their lives restart in incredible ways as societal pressure propels them to embark on a treacherous journey to New York City with dreams, hopes, and memories in tow.

I Carry You with Me holds a 97% approval rating on review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, based on 89 reviews, with an average of 7.9/10. The website's critics' consensus reads: "A remarkable feature debut for director Heidi Ewing, I Carry You with Me finds universally resonant themes in a specific, richly detailed time and place."[15] On Metacritic, the film holds a rating of 76 out of 100, based on 23 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[16]

The bittersweet ache of this line, said in voiceover in "I Carry You with Me," carries with it the weight of the circumstances beneath the love story depicted, where love is unable to grow naturally, where love arrives unexpectedly in an unwelcoming world, where love cannot express itself for a variety of cultural and/or political reasons. Timing is everything, they say. What if your perfect person arrives too soon, before you are ready, before the world is ready? Ten years later, the soil might be more welcoming, but by then everything else has changed too. This is the complicated atmosphere of "I Carry You with Me," directed by Heidi Ewing, and co-written by Ewing and Alan Page Arriaga.

Based on the real-life love story of Iván Garcia and Gerardo Zabaleta, "I Carry You with Me" dramatizes their relationship, which dates back decades, and then flashes forward to who and where they are now. The film is pure hybrid, flashing backwards and forwards in time, showing the real men in the present day, and using actors to dramatize their love story in the past. Ewing comes from a documentary background, and this is her first narrative feature. Nominated for an Oscar for the 2006 film "Jesus Camp" (co-directed with Rachel Grady), Ewing brings her documentary sensibility to the table here, and her collaborator in this is the uber-talented Mexican cinematographer Juan Pablo Ramírez.

Current-day Iván Garcia is our "way in" to his own story. A well-known chef, living and working in New York City, the film opens with dreamy shots of him riding the subway, before moving back to his earlier days, as a young man in Puebla, Mexico, struggling to get work as a cook. Played by the gifted Armando Espitia, Iván clears tables at a restaurant, hoping for a chance to show his cooking talents. He has a son, and his relationship with the mother is tense. He has no money, no prospects. He also has a secret. A friend takes him to a gay bar in Puebla, where he meets Gerardo (Christian Vazquez), a TA at a local university. Their initial conversation lasts until dawn. There's a connection beyond the physical (but the physical is good too). Gerardo is "out," and Iván is not. He's afraid if he comes out, he will no longer be allowed to see his son. Neither man has the support of their families.

Much of the movie is shot with a hand-held camera, but there's careful planning in evidence, with insert shots of food, faces, street scenes, shadows, weather. The camera captures not just the characters' interactions, but the texture of their worlds, the rooms they live in, the food they eat, their eloquent gestures and glances, the silences, the sensuous pleasure of skin against skin. It takes a very sensitive eye to not only get footage like this but to combine it all together into a coherent whole. Documentaries lean heavily on such footage, since small details like the knick-knacks on a mantelpiece reveal more about a character than any dialogue they might say. Ewing's tender specific approach elevates the flashbacks out of being dutiful re-enactments. She's also cast the film sensitively and well. Both young actors are vulnerable and intelligent, dealing with extremely complicated and painful issues, while their love for one another is simple and clear. This is no small feat.

What was a love story, albeit a forbidden one, moves into an immigrant story; Iván suffers in New York with the isolation of exile, not just from his home country, but from everyone he loves. When the present-day scenes arrive, we meet the real Iván and the real Gerardo, and there's something very gratifying about seeing them in person, these two men we've gotten to know so well. The hybrid structure of "I Carry You with Me" brings some problems with it, mainly in terms of balance. The dramatizations make up the majority of the film, and the current-day documentary sequences at first feel tacked-on when they arrive.

The result of Iván's "crossing over" has been mostly positive. He is a well-known chef, he owns a restaurant, he has made a name for himself. But there have been devastating consequences in terms of his ability to travel to Mexico to see his family, to see his son. Coming into the United States illegally means he can never go back, even though he has been a valuable and responsible part of his community for two decades. He hasn't seen his son in 20 years. His son is denied a Visa consistently. These policies targeting undocumented immigrants are purposefully cruel and "I Carry You with Me" shows the anguish of such enforced separation from family.

"I Carry You with Me" is a complicated film, in many ways, and it covers a lot of ground, but the emotions portrayed are simple and human-sized. The title, too, takes on additional resonance once the credits roll. Iván is not just carrying Gerardo with him. He's carrying everyone he left behind.

When we meet Iván on a New York subway platform at the outset of I Carry You with Me, he's lost in thought. He looks to be in his early 50s, and is musing about a time some 30 years earlier in Mexico that the film is about to recreate. It's a past he remembers as filled with waiting.

He'd been waiting for the mother of his 5-year-old to let him take his son Ricky for a playdate. Waiting to cook, rather than wash dishes at the restaurant where his boss was forever urging him to be patient. Waiting for a relationship that could work in a Mexican society that forces gay men underground. It's only when Iván (Armando Espitia) meets and falls in love with Gerardo (Christian Vázquez), that his story takes a fateful turn. He decides to cross the U.S. border where things may be better and they can begin again.

I Carry You with Me is the first narrative feature from documentary filmmaker Heidi Ewing. It's an innovative blend of Iván and Gerardo's real-life story told through documentary footage and a swooning fictionalized drama with actors. Over the course of several years, Ewing filmed Iván and Gerardo going about their lives. Then working backwards from that documentary footage, she scripted their backstory, and found actors to play them in their early 20s, and also in childhood when they dealt with fathers who were differently oppressive.

The documentary and narrative pieces of I Carry You with Me don't always fit neatly together, but the performances, hand-held camerawork, simple truths of prejudice, poverty, and peril make it easy to glide past rough patches. It's a story of hope and sacrifice in which men who can't be gay in Mexico, and can't be undocumented in the U.S., find themselves trading one sort of hiding for another.

In her conversation with NPR, Ewing describes the film as the story of an American dream that "occurs in slow motion." The narrative eventually returns to the New York City platform where the film first opens with the real-life Ivan waiting and ruminating on his past. As Ewing says, "He's dreaming about going back to Mexico but realizes if he leaves here, he can't come back. And that's the dilemma. And it continues until this very moment."

this film lets you feel how dealing with childhood traumas and past emotional turmoils as an homosexual immigrant is some other level of internal struggle, because all the amount of prejudices and discrimination you have to face and endure can neither be just equated to nor measured by anything so easily.

i carry you with me is a bit odd. the structure, jumping back and forth between three timelines then shifting to documentary two-thirds of the way through, is jarring to say the least... the imbalance in tone and aesthetic ultimately makes it feel like two different movies in one (which it practically is; the project began as a documentary). the hodgepodge of narrative threads it tries, and pretty much fails, to weave together also dont help and none end in a particularly satisfying way, making for a mess of a final product. but its pretty! and it made me cry!

Synopsis: Based on true love, this decades spanning romance begins in Mexico between an aspiring chef (Armando Espitia) and a teacher (Christian Vázquez). Their lives restart in incredible ways as societal pressure propels them to embark on a treacherous journey to NYC with dreams, hopes, and memories in tow.

A life-altering meeting between two men triggers the lifelong intersectional romance in Te llevo conmigo (I Carry You With Me), a Mexican LGBTQ drama by U.S. filmmaker Heidi Ewing, marking her first fiction feature. Non-linear in its construction, the timely story based on real-life stretches across two countries and over two decades withstanding homophobia and the perils of economic migration.

The plotline on which I Carry You With Me pivots is set in 1994 Puebla city, not far from Mexico City. Ivan (soulful, sad-eyed Armando Espitia), a financially struggling, closeted gay man separated from his wife, with whom he has a young son, works long, sweaty shifts washing dishes at a restaurant. But he has his sights set on a higher rung in the kitchen hierarchy: A graduate of culinary school, Ivan aspires to be a chef specializing in the traditional dishes he grew up preparing and eating with his parents. 041b061a72


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