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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YOU WERE MY FIRST BOYFRIEND (SXSW2023) – Review by Diane Carson

Introducing the world premiere of You Were My First Boyfriend at this year’s SXSW Film Festival, co-director/co-writer Cecilia Aldarondo said with a smile that she decided to attend her high school reunion so we would not have to. Going all in, co-director /co-writer Sarah Enid Hagey’s and Aldarondo’s hybrid documentary involves remembering and restaging events from Cecilia’s 1990s adolescence with a cast of teenage actors interacting with her now.

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