For this week's Movie Minutes, KUNR entertainment reviewer Robin Holabird looks at a movie inspired by the real-life love story of two men from Mexico.
Much about the movie I Carry You with Me deals with struggle, yet its overall vibe exudes warmth and niceness. One struggle comes with the nature of the project itself — a small, independent theatrical release spoken in Spanish but with many U.S. ties. Other challenges come from a lack of stars and no big track record for those involved. Then comes a story that could end badly, as two young men in Mexico fall in love and face a culture that condemns them.
One, Gerardo, works successfully as a teacher but feels no connections with the rest of his life. The other, Ivan, loves his son but finds no work available in the field he adores: cooking. All this background took documentary filmmaker Heidi Ewing by surprise as she learned the backstory of two of her friends from a Manhattan eatery. She saw a unique film on modern life, but one requiring a different approach from her other projects, like a documentary about television visionary Norman Lear and another called Jesus Camp, which deals with evangelical activities.
Events in I Carry You with Me already happened without video or photographic record, so Ewing takes a hybrid approach. She uses performers and a script for a traditional narrative, then combines the past and the present with the story’s real-life counterparts.
No voiceover explains anything. Instead, images unfold in what initially looks like a drama with hints of Call Me by Your Name. I Carry You with Me moves on in different directions as a story of lasting love whose protagonists’ warmth and good-heartedness overcomes harsh and sad situations. Many could never jump the hurdles these two protagonists cross, making it easy to cheer for the film that celebrates long-lasting love.
I Carry You with Me premiered at Sundance and opens in theaters this July.
Robin Holabird is KUNR's Entertainment Reviewer, author and former film commissioner for the Nevada Film Office. You can hear all of her reviews here.