I like short films. Not that it would make me actually go and seek any out and watch them, oh no – even this, lovely 17–minute–long film came to me only via Tumblr this summer. We’ll work on fixing that from now on.
I’m glad it did, though. Eu Não Quero Voltar Sozinho, Portuguese for I Don’t Want To Go Back Alone, is available for watching on Youtube and is being made into a full–length film, hopefully opening next year. It’s a sweet coming–of–age story about being blind and being gay. The film is pale, subtle and quiet but in a good, heart–warming way. It addresses homophobia and prejudice in a subtle way rarely seen in films.
The 15–year–old blind Leonardo’s (Guilherme Lobo) best friend Giovana (Tess Amorim) is more than a friend to Leonardo. She’s the support he needs on the way to school, on his way home and in school – and she is selfless in all that. When the new kid, Gabriel (Fabio Audi) joins them in school, Leonardo and Gabriel develop mutual crushes, making Giovana over–think and feel inferior at a point. She isn’t happy about Leonardo liking the boy – or him having any strong feelings for anyone but her, apparently. But mostly, she is shocked that Leonardo likes a boy. And even though her sharp tongue is ever-present, we don’t see Giovana’s point of view – we peek in on Leonardo. Him growing up, his self–discovery. It’s not a big deal for him to be blind: he knows that. Now he’s discovering who he is outside of that.
The one word that could sum up this film is amazing. The seventeen minutes it runs fill you up with warmth and makes you think. Films that tackle illness, mental or physical, can be done in a such subtle, great way that leaves you in awe – and this film definitely succeeds. And once again, a film proves that for people with illness or disabilities, it’s a very small part of their existence.
Eu Não Quero Voltar Sozinho can be seen with subtitles on Youtube. The feature film’s original title is Hoje Eu Quero Voltar Sozinho (literally “Today I Want To Go Back Alone”, official English translation The Way He Looks.) GIF credit here and here.