IMDb Rating 6.9 10 469


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January 12, 2021



720p.WEB 1080p.WEB
787.75 MB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
85 min
P/S N/A / N/A
1.43 GB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
85 min
P/S N/A / N/A

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by chong_an 7 / 10 / 10

Decent composite of Guatemalan gay youth

Jose is the only child who is still living at home with his mother, with both having to start a commute before dawn to their respective jobs. Jose's sexual release is with men in a hotel that rents rooms by the hour. When offered chances for a long-term relationship, Jose has a battle between love and loyalty to his mother. I saw this film at the Inside Out LGBT film festival, with a Q+A with the co-writer. The director and writers spent time in Central America interviewing subjects, and this is a composite of their research. Unfortunately, references to Guatemalan culture and history could be lost to foreigners. Rather crucial to the story is the frequency mothers may hang on to their youngest children to avoid being alone (there is a reference to Jose's sisters). Other references are to a civil war and an earthquake, both of which killer a great number of people, but may be extraneous to the main theme of choices in life. The film is shot in a raw, gritty style, but that suits the environment the characters live in.

Reviewed by Red-125 8 / 10 / 10

The hard streets of Guatemala City

José (II) (2018) is a Guatemalan film co-written and directed by Li Cheng. The movie follows José (Enrique Salanic) as he goes about his marginal life in urban Guatemala. Manolo Herrera plays Luis, José's lover, and Ana Cecilia Mota portrays his mother. The movie doesn't move forward with a traditional plot. It's more of a series of vignettes strung together because José is in them. José is gay, but his life would be hard if he weren't gay. Being gay in Guatemala is dangerous, so that adds a definite level of tension to his life and to the film. His mother also leads a marginal life, because she's selling food without the proper license, and she gets driven from spot to spot by the police. She only has two loves in her life--José and the Evangelical church to which she belongs. It wasn't clear to me whether or not she knew José was gay. She knew that something was happening, but she didn't appear to know what it was. As the credits to the movie were rolling, we learned that each episode was based on a real event that happened to one of the many people to whom the filmmakers spoke. That's apparently why the film was episodic--it was based on something that really happened to someone in Latin America. (Not just Guatemala.) We saw this movie in Rochester's wonderful Dryden Theatre at The Eastman House Museum. It was screened as part of Rochester's great ImageOut LGBT Film Festival. This was the film's New York State premiere. My compliments to the festival organizers for bringing the movie to Rochester. I enjoyed watching the movie on the large screen, but it will work well enough on the small screen. José has a weak IMDb rating of 6.3. It's not a great film, but I think it's better than that.

Reviewed by laduqesa 8 / 10 / 10

Episodic but compelling

I watched this at home on a TV set. I sometimes wonder what time it is during a film or how much longer we have to go. Not this one though. It really held my attention. The story follows the protagonist through work, his love life, his relationship with his mum and other family members. Things happen, such as a theft of equipment from the mother and a phone from the lover, that are not followed up in this film of fleeting episodes. It doesn't matter - there is no "plot" as such, just events that unfold linearly but not necessarily consequentially. It's a sad film overall. We take things for granted in the west about openness and acceptance, but these are not options in Jose's world. The actors and settings are totally realistic. The moments of physical love, despite the occasionally sordid nature of the locations are happy and joyful. The grind and monotony of daily life kicks back in though. The way the film ended was unexpected, but when I thought about it, I realised that this, or a similar ending, was unavoidable. I really liked this film and would recommend it.

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