When everything is for sale, what's the value of love? Jesus does make up for a troupe of drag performers in Havana, but dreams of being a performer. When he finally gets his chance to be on stage, a stranger emerges from the crowd and punches him in the face. The stranger is his father Angel, a former boxer, who has been absent from his life for 15 years. As father and son clash over their opposing expectations of each other, Viva becomes a love story as the men struggle to understand one another and become a family again.
I have traveled some of the world including places like Bangkok, Thailand and Manila, Philippines where I have seen people of all ages and walks of life struggling to understand their sexuality and how they fit into this turbulent judgmental world. Although I respectfully agree with the summary of the film and the interesting and good review by Mr. Torchia as he gives us a compare and contrast of times past to the present story presented in this film, (Thank you Mr. Torchia) I also feel that overall the film strives to cover a lot of territory and complexities of the various characters and their identities as best it can. I would have been grateful to have been able to know more about each of the characters and how they came to be where they are in life but in film making cost and time limit that possibility all to often. I will say this, I very much enjoyed this film (and had a good cry) and could not only relate to Jesus and his struggle but also that of Mamma whose character I feel brought much value to the film as a story as she/he tried to help Jesus navigate his identity development and is telling of the trials transgender and other alternate individuals must deal with daily in a often non accepting straight world. A great film overall and deserving I feel of a top score.
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