The Garden Left Behind

Director: Flavio Alves
2019 | USA, Brazil | 88m
Expected Guests: Director Flavio Alves, Actors Ivana Black, Anthony Abdo, and Dawn Young, Producer Roy Gokay Wol

Driving a cab through the lonely streets of New York, Tina struggles to provide for herself and her grandmother. Being undocumented makes work difficult to come by, and to add more stress, Tina has decided to begin transitioning. While her doting abuela endeavors to understand, Tina finds warm support in a group of trans activists that take her under their wing. Tina waits impatiently for her doctor to sign off on her transition so she can begin taking hormones, eager to join her trans sisters. But mounting medical costs, her rocky relationship with the man she’s been seeing, and her legal immigration status all become daunting obstacles to Tina’s pursuit of happiness.

Winner of the Audience Award in the Visions section at this year’s SXSW Film Festival, The Garden Left Behind is a strong and poignant feature debut from filmmaker Flavio Alves, who has crafted a compassionate but unsentimental portrait. First-time actress Carlie Guevara gives a captivating, raw performance as Tina, bolstered by the rich supporting cast, which includes Michael Madsen and Ed Asner.


This film contains graphic transphobic violence.

San Francisco AIDS Foundation

Consulate General of Brazil / Cine + Mas SF / African Human Rights Coalition / PFLAG San Francisco

  • Language: In English and Spanish with English subtitles