Entertainment » Movies

Socrates

by Roger Walker-Dack
EDGE Media Network Contributor
Friday Aug 9, 2019
'Socrates'
'Socrates'  

Opens in LA August 9
DVD & Digital August 20

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Life is tough enough for the title character of "Socrates" a 15-year-old boy, and his single-parent mother, as they struggle to eke out a living in their shabby apartment in Baixada Santista, one of the rougher ghettos of São Paulo. When she suddenly dies, the teen is left to fend for himself. Behind in the rent and unwilling to allow the authorities to put him in an institution to live, the street-savvy kid sets about finding a job and somewhere to live.

He'll take on any job, no matter how unsuitable it is, and one day on a construction site he meets Maicron, a laborer, who initially picks a fight with him, but soon after they become close friends. Young Socrates is desperately lonely and seeks intimacy of any kind; when the older man takes advantage of his inexperience, Socrates mistakes this for love.

He feels his only alternative is his father, whom his mother and he left in the middle of the night in order to escape his abuse. He has a hope that things may be better now that he is alone, but that notion quickly fades when his father wants to beat him because of his sexuality. After that, even being used so callously by Maicron seems a much better alternative.

His lack of education and sheer poverty exasperate the boy's attempt at getting a better life and at the same time he has to grapple with the reality of his burgeoning sexuality completely on his own. This thought-provoking movie is a story of despair with a complete lack of hope, and sharply reminds you of the enormous obstacles that so many LGBTQ youth are forced to deal with by themselves.

What makes this feature film debut from Alexandre Moratto even more impressive is that it was produced by a crew of 16-20-year-olds of the Querô Institute on a budget less than $20K. The Institute is a UNICEF-supported project that provides social inclusion through filmmaking to teenagers of low income households in the Baixada Santista region of São Paulo, Brazil. They did a stunning job in creating a film that is hard to forget.

Roger Walker-Dack, a passionate cinephile, is a freelance writer, critic and broadcaster and the author/editor of three blogs. He divides his time between Miami Beach and Provincetown.


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