Don’t Call Me Son (2016)


DONT-CALL-ME-SON-3Lovely, lovely. This Brazilian film reminded me a little of Sebastian Silva’s work (The Maid MIFF 2015). Pierre and his sister Jacqueline live with their mother, Aracy. Pierre plays in a band and behind closed doors puts on lipstick and dresses, finding connection with girls and boys alike. But then the police arrive and it seems his mother is not his mother, he was stolen as a baby and now must forge a new life with a new family.

What I like about this film is the quiet exploration of Pierre’s experience. This rift in his life is a trauma and we can see him denying, detaching, being seduced by the attention and feeling suffocated. It is a catalyst, though, for him to declare himself and the final scenes are intense, funny and poignant.

While watching it I was unaware that the characters of his mother Aracy and real mother Glória are played by the same actor, Daniela Nefussi. Maybe it was obvious but their characters and looks were so different that it didn’t even occur to me. I love this. It says so much about how Pierre’s problems were not about the individuals. He shouts at Glória, “Don’t call me son. You are not my mother.” Are these not the words of every child saying, “I am not you. See me for who I am.”

Bechdel test – pass
4.5 stars

One thought on “Don’t Call Me Son (2016)

  1. Pingback: The best of MIFF 2016 | fillums

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