Cecilia Aldarondo on docu-fiction and YOU WERE MY FIRST BOYFRIEND – Nadine Whitney interviews

In You Were My First Boyfriend, filmmaker Cecilia Aldarondo returns to her adolescence in Winter Park, Florida to recreate sections of the experiences that she felt defined her as an adult. The opening of the painfully intimate docu-fiction is a hazy recreation of a school dance with Cecilia as an adult dressed as her teen self interacting with young actors playing her contemporaries in the mid-nineties. It feels like a horror film come to life, because for so many going back to that vulnerable period is something we only do in nightmares, especially if for some reason we were outsiders at school. Cecilia, a Puerto Rican woman was not the ideal thin white girl. She wanted a boyfriend, popularity, a feeling of belonging, but could never quite achieve it. Cecelia talks about immersive docu-fiction and other works that inspired You Were My First Boyfriend.

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YOU WERE MY FIRST BOYFRIEND – Review by Nadine Whitney

You Were My First Boyfriend might appear to be Cecilia Aldarondo’s personal catharsis, but it is much more. The experiences she describes exist beyond her milieu and are timeless. Few teens are cheerleaders and athletes in the in-crowd. You Were My First Boyfriend will resonate with people of all ages, anyone who felt that they were broken in adolescence and cannot parse why. You Were My First Boyfriend is a painful and beautiful journey where Cecilia Aldarondo lays her soul bare for all to see. We want to hold the hand of the young woman she was and the wonderfully brave woman she is.

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BEBA – Review by Leslie Combemale

Beba presents a woman of color who is neither famous nor infamous, searching for her identity in her own voice. What makes Beba watchable is viewers get the sense that she is examining her mistakes and her significant role in familial conflict in a multi-dimensional way. That is best exampled by the last lines of the film. She seems genuine in wanting to get her head out of her own ass and take responsibility for her place in the world, something that makes her perspective, and the way she chooses to tell her own story, truly compelling.

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