Art for the screening of the film. Graphic courtesy of Bruising for Besos Facebook page.
On March 2, Adelina Anthony made an appearance at UTSA for a screening of her newest film “Bruising for Besos.” Anthony is the screenwriter, co-producer, director and one of the starring actors in the feature film. Anthony left the film industry at 26 years old, but decided to return to the industry as early as 2010. The reason? “Film is the medium of the day. The gift of film is that it can have a longevity and a reach that is so much longer and wider. The gift of teatro is you being there, your presence, your energía.”
The film follows the main character Yoli, a charismatic Xicana lesbian, making familia within the queer/trans people of color scene in Los Angeles. As the story of Yoli unfolds, she seduces a Puerto Rican woman named Daña, but finds herself in an abusive relationship. As Yoli and Daña struggle in their relationship, the audience sees flashbacks of Yoli’s childhood when her father abused her mother. The flashbacks give a true insight into domestic abuse within Mexican-American families. Anthony said when she was creating ideas for this film she knew she wanted a raw film that all audience members could relate to. Anyone can empathize with the couple or family depicted.
Not only does this film give insight to domestic abuse, Anthony also shows the wide spectrum of Xicanas. “It was also important for me to show different kinds of Chicanas and Latinas because it was about opening up the spectrum as much as possible. It was critical to have an actor play Rani who is trans in real life.”
D’Lo plays Rani and is queer and transgender as well as a Sri Lankan-American actor, writer and comedian.
After the screening, there was a Q&A with the screenwriter and director. Anthony was asked for her thoughts on the rise of film recently, “I think that what’s exciting about the digital revolution right now, in particular with what happened with the Internet, there is a way that your generation can destabilize what we consider the strongholds of film making. I think it is exciting what this generation will do with the tools. They are tools, so use them.”
Anthony went on to discuss how the equipment necessary to produce film is readily available anywhere. Even though the epicenters for film are Los Angeles and New York, “that’s not to say that now there can’t be some kickass Xicana person coming out of San Antonio, because you can get equipment now and you can stay home where you are supported.”
If you missed the chance to see this film on campus, don’t fret; “Bruising for Besos” will be published online in October 2017. To stay up-to-date with Anthony and her many works, follow her Facebook page at facebook.com/twospiritxicanajota.