Cinema connects, tears down borders, kills, opens up for experience and understanding…
On November 13th the opening session of the 12th lesbian- homosexual and transgender Film Festival found place. So I went to the public cultural centre “Casa de la Cultura” with a friend to watch the genre of movies I probably like most: crazy and arty independent movies. As we entered the welcoming ceremony it was Conchita Wurst who suddenly was in front of us talking with locals in finest Spanish. Once we got rid of our shyness we asked for this photo.
Ecuador is pretty conservative, in various senses, but events like these are a testimonial for its citizens to be able to think about issues that are beyond normal day-to-day struggle. It is a sign of improved life-quality, growing tolerance that go in hand with economic growth and a better infrastructure and a working social system.
Nevertheless they call it “Fight for more equality” here and not Discussion. Ecuador is still very unexperienced with same-sex marriage. At the opening speech I hear words like “Homophobia” in combination with “Tolerance” and I remember my own homosexual friends back in Germany and how we could talk about everything without fear or prejudices. Here, in Ecuador they still “fight”. For good reason, because who really would want to reject the right to coin the emotional boundaries of two loving individuals by the act of marriage? Religion or cultural customs in my perspective do not play a role then, only pure emotion.
Big emotions and a trigger to more tolerance do not only stem from the speaches this evening. It is also the moving film from Brasil “Hoje Eu Quero Voltar Sozin“, meaning “today I don’t like to come back alone”, a highly emotional movie, an emotional roallercoaster of two homosexual teenagers, one of them blind by birth, and their best female friend and their feelings for each other. I laughed, were stunnished by the surprising open mindedness the film treats the subject. Also I found myself feeling with them and realized that I went through similar situations, given that I like women. Feelings though are the exact same, that is probably the message of this brilliant movie.
Even then, there is a lack of tolerance for people who are not straight in Latin America. Uruguay may be seen as an exemption, since same-sex marriage is legally accepted since many years. Nevertheless, this evening was a wonderful sign for compassion and acceptance. Like said at the beginning: the great footage, offered by the creative cinema, can be the basis for debate and more acceptance among people.