Running Time: 74 mins
Certificate: NR (US)
Release Date: April 16th 2016 (Tribeca Film Festival World Premiere)
Filmmaker Cecilia Aldarondo certainly didn’t give herself an easy task when she set out to make Memories Of A Penitent Heart, as it involves her delving into one of the most difficult and painful chapters of her family’s history. 25 years before, her uncle Miguel died, with her grandmother insisting it was cancer, although it was almost certainly of AIDS (although interestingly Miguel himself was never tested, due to his beliefs about how people with the disease were being treated and stigmatised).
Miguel was gay, and had moved from Puerto Rico to New York to become an actor, shunning his staunch, Catholic upbringing to live authentically as himself, no matter what his family thought – even going as far as to change his name to the anglicised Michael. He’d also gotten into a relationship with a man called Robert. It is finding Robert that becomes Cecilia’s route into the story, as due to the strained (to put it mildly) relationship between Robert and Miguel’s family, they don’t know what happened to him or even his surname. [Read more…]