“We are flowery!” say the protagonists of Las flores de la noche (2020), who, in an exercise in morphology, allude to their power and capacity to open up like flowers. Eduardo Esquivel and Omar Robles’ film is a rare fruit in Mexican cinema in Mexican films: it addresses gender identities without a stark stance, solemnity, or ridiculing. Filmed in Mezcala de la Asunción, a town in Jalisco (one of the most conservative Mexican states), the film - which brings back Pedro Lemebel and the queer star of Latin American song Álex Anwandter - trails a group of trans women after they lose Uriel (an important member of their tribe) after he decides to take a religious path. Las flores de la noche releases a fresh scent: wigs, makeup, ballads of singing divas, and characters who live without hiding; their longings are firm and soft petals. A vindication of “jotería” (gayness)? Yes, the Spanish word of the Mexican dialect that simply expresses the joy of living.
Review by: Carlos Rodríguez