- Delven Shaw
Move DANCE OF THE 41 to the top of your list.
I was not expecting much in advance of DANCE OF THE 41 on NetFlix. But it delivered a powerful punch of long lost GLBT history. Based on a true story of a closeted congressman who intends to run for president of the state of Mexico, this movie is political, historical, and personal in the event which Wikipedia claims triggered the first discussion of homosexuality in Mexico when it happened in 1901.
Alfonso Herrera plays Ignacio, a Congressman with both political aspirations and a big secret. He loves Evaristo (Emiliano Zurita) and both men deliver powerful performances as two men trapped in a hopeless situation. Ignacio and Albert meet in an all male club called the 41. Ignacio has just gotten married with his father-in-law being the most powerful politician in the state and his wife (Mabel Cadena) begging, pleading for a child so the sham marriage is not revealed. The trio of lovers is superb in their rage, longing, and love.
The film looks fantastic with opulent sets and costumes. The scenes set inside the 41 club feature a group of 41 very interesting male archetypes who all long for a day when they can live their secret lives. We suspect that the happy times inside the club cannot last and the scenes where the club is exposed and ripped and paraded in the town are truly devastating.
The scenes with the 41 having their parties and operas and orgies on the other hand are no doubt ones which will be watched again and again. How many bathtubs are there?
This is a great piece for people who love history and the study of other cultures. Writer Mabel Cadena and director David Pablos have anchored their historic tale with a very personal life story. And it is really beautifully done.
Please move it DANCE OF THE 41 to the top of your list.
(Major spoiler alerts on trailer.)