Thousand Clouds of Peace
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A teenager discovers that mending a broken heart is no simple thing in this independent romantic drama from Mexico. Gerardo (Juan Carlos Ortuno), a 17-year-old who has recently embraced his homosexuality, has just parted ways with his first serious boyfriend, Bruno (Juan Carlos Torres). Gerardo has fallen into a deep depression after losing Bruno, and he drifts through Mexico City, where he meets and makes love with a number of attractive strangers. However, his hedonistic adventures cannot wash away the pain in his heart. The first feature-length project from director Julian Hernandez, Mil Nubes de Paz Cercan el Cielo, Amor, Jam s Acabar s de Ser Amor was screened at the 2003 Berlin Film Festival, where it received the Teddy award, given to the best Gay or Lesbian-themed film shown at the fest. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi
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This, his first film, sets out a template that would be perfected on I Am Happiness On Earth.
Gerardo (Juan Carlos Ortuno) is a 17-year old lad who has apparently just been jilted by his lover Bruno (Juan Carlos Torres) who ended the only affair of Gerardo's life with a letter that plunges Gerardo into despair. Gerardo walks the streets of Mexico City, looking for signs of his lost love, pining away on a bridge, pausing to find the soundtrack recording of an old shared film, attempting unsuccessfully to kindle romance with the occasional hustler and at times meeting with physical abuse. When he is not wandering in his sadness he stays in his room yearning for what is lost and confining his needs to his solo physical dreams. He encounters old friends, both male and female, but there is no real antidote for the loss he is experiencing. And like so many tragic love stories, this one has no happy ending.
Hernandez gives evidence of a potentially potent filmmaker: certainly his subject matter and his frankness of showing frontal nudity and some frankness of contact demonstrate that he is a brave writer and director. Juan Carlos Ortuna is an inexperienced actor, but with Hernandez' guidance he manages to make us feel his plight, trust his genuine grief, and in general make us hope he finds resolution. And to accomplish that with almost no dialogue, relying only on facial and physical shots, shows promise. In Spanish with English subtitles. Grady Harp, June 06