Four MoonsFour Moons

The drama Four Moons is making its U.S. debut at the Fort Lauderdale Gay and Lesbian Film Festival’s opening party at the Museum of Art | Fort Lauderdale (1 E. Las Olas Blvd, Fort Lauderdale) on Friday, October 10 at 8 p.m. This movie tells four different stories, all of gay men in various stages of their lives, dealing with conflict.

The youngest generation learns how to deal with what “gay” means. Eleven-year-old Mauricio struggles with his attraction toward his male cousin and makes a move that could end up dividing his family. The second story deals with first love and the pitfalls that come with it. Fito is reunited with Leo, a friend from long ago, and they begin a passionate love affair. Afraid of what people will think of him, Leo casts Fito aside, only to regret his poor decision. The third story, revolving around Hugo and Andrés, a couple who have been together for ten years and have become a bit too complacent with one another, illustrates the value of self-worth and the notion of good timing: when should you love yourself more than someone else? Finally, Joaquín, a closeted academic and poet in his twilight years, yearns for intimacy from a man who is unavailable in more ways than one. In his quest to gain a sexual partner, he ends up making a friend.

If you’re the type that gets emotionally invested in a plotline, this is a movie that will make you cry at the drop of a hat. Everyone can relate to losing a first love, and everyone can relate to coming out to their parents. In one fell swoop, Fito’s guarded and detached mother not only accepts her son and his sexuality despite doubting her ability to do so, she comforts him and gives him a piece of sage advice that resonates no matter what country you’re in: “If he doesn’t love you, he doesn’t deserve you.” That is definitely the case for Andrés as well; after chasing down Hugo and vowing that he would do anything to fix their relationship, it was the realization that “loving enough for two” in fact is not enough. What is enough is having the strength to love enough to let a moment, and a person, go.

I won’t give too many more details because I feel like this is a movie you must experience to believe. I found it to be very touching and I think U.S. audiences will love it as much as I did.

Country: Mexico
Directed and Written by Sergio Tovar Velarde
Cast: Antonio Velázquez as Hugo, Alejandro de la Madrid as Andrés, Cesar Ramos as Fito, Gustavo Egelhaaf as Leo, Alonso Echánove as Joaquín, Alejandro Belmonte as Gilberto, Gabriel Santoyo as Mauricio


The movie Stand will be shown during the Fort Lauderdale Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, at the Classic Gateway Theatre (1820 E. Sunrise Boulevard) on Saturday, October 11 at 9:45 p.m.

This movie asks, “Can we think one way, but react differently?” The moral of this film states boldly that our actions define the word courage. At the beginning of this film, set in the present day in Moscow, a gay couple, Anton and Vladislav, drive past a group of men beating another man. After an argument, they eventually choose not to help this man. Later they learn a local beating victim has died in the hospital.

Wracked with guilt and convinced that the man they didn’t help was the one who died, Anton felt something needed to be done. He hatched a covert plan to find the men responsible. Posing as journalists, Anton and Vladislav dig for information by talking to the victim’s siblings and setting up bait traps for the people the victim met before his death. With the help of a budding journalist named Katya, visiting from Paris, Anton’s digging goes deeper and deeper, causing him to take even larger risks, eventually alienating himself from his boyfriend and causing him to leave.

Undeterred, Anton continues on his mission, even after Katya has to return to Paris. While digging deeper for clues, Anton befriends someone he shouldn’t and acts on a tip that where the risks are simply too high, leading to the film’s chilling climax.

As we see life in Russia deteriorate for the LGBT community after the approval of the anti-“gay propaganda” law, the already marginalized community there is being left open to attacks where the perpetrators go scot-free. This thriller outlines just how much life and death can intertwine when we don’t act on our principles.

Country: France/Russia
Written by Constance Fischbach, Frederic Jean-Jacques, Anthony Robin & Jonathan Taieb
Directed by Jonathan Taieb
Cast: Renat Shuteev as Anton, Andrey Kurganov as Vladislav, Andrey Koshman as Andrey, Ekaterina Rusnak as Katya

The CircleThe Circle

The documentary/drama The Circle will be shown at the Fort Lauderdale Gay and Lesbian Film Festival on Saturday, October 11 at noon at the Classic Gateway Theatre.

This film alternates between scripted period drama and a documentary set in the present day discussing gay life in Zürich in the mid-to-late 1950s. Homosexuality was not illegal in Switzerland, but it was still frowned upon, and workplace discrimination was still rampant. Anyone who yearned to meet other gay people or wanted to read more about the homosexual experience was a member of The Circle, a homophile organization that also produced a magazine.

At the beginning of the documentary we are introduced to a mature couple, Ernst and Robi. We are then transported back to the Zürich of 1956 where we meet younger versions of Ernst, a teacher, and Robi, a hairdresser and drag queen. Ernst is introduced to The Circle, and is immediately welcomed, while Ernst and Robi start a relationship which continues to this day.

In the 1950s, Zürich was known as a gay mecca, partly due to tourism from West Germany, where homosexuality was still illegal. Rent boys flocked to the city, extorting closeted gay men. Extortion quickly turned deadly, and a string of murders shocked the city. The authorities, wanting to solve the crimes and put the gay community in its place at the same time, started raiding well-known gay meeting areas and jailed men on trumped-up charges. After the raids, it took a long time for Zürich’s gay community to unite and thrive again.

Through explanations and narrations from Ernst, Robi, and their friends, we get a glimpse of gay life in another time and in another land. While the United States of the 1950s was heavily closeted, even free-wheeling Zürich suffered lamentable discrimination. A worldwide audience has now been introduced to this chapter of history thanks to this film.

Country: Switzerland
Written by Stefan Haupt, Christian Felix, Ivan Madeo, Urs Frey
Directed by Stefan Haupt
Cast: Matthias Hungerbühler as Ernst (flashbacks), Sven Schelker as Robi (flashbacks), Peter Jecklin as Max, Marianne Sägebrecht as Erika