Known throughout his Peruvian mountain village as a maestro, Noé (Amiel Cayo) is an esteemed artisan of retablos—unique, handcrafted clay altarpieces that feature exquisitely detailed miniatures of extended families and communities, encased in brightly painted boxes. His dutiful, wide-eyed teenage son Segundo (a heartbreakingly gentle Junior Béjar Roca) admires and adores his father, working proudly and painstakingly by his side to learn the family craft and carry on its tradition. But their tender father-son bond is abruptly fractured—and Segundo’s provincial worldview is shattered—when he discovers that Noé has been engaging in clandestine homosexual encounters outside their family home. In their tight-knit, highly conservative, religious rural village, where alleged crimes and sins are met with brutal violence and public shaming, Segundo’s anger and confusion are both internalized and inflamed by the hyper-masculine mores of their patriarchal culture.
In his feature film debut, Peruvian writer-director Alvaro Delgado Aparicio L.—whose exquisite short The Companion (El acompañante) screened at Frameline37—fully immerses us in the rich colors and traditions of the Quechuan culture, which is rarely captured with such authenticity on-screen. Winner of both a Teddy Newcomer Award and a Crystal Bear Special Jury Mention at this year’s Berlin International Film Festival, Retablo is a poignant coming-of-age story about an aspiring young artist coming to terms with the meaning of masculinity and the power of paternal love.
— JOANNE PARSONT
San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus
Cine+Mas SF Latino Film Festival
- Language: In Quechua and Spanish with English subtitles. ASL interpreter present
- Premiere Status: Bay Area