Perfume de Gardenias, the debut feature by queer Afro-Puerto Rican multidisciplinary artist Macha Colón, comes to REDCAT after its world premiere at the 2021 Tribeca Film Festival. Colón knits a whimsical tale of motherly love and sisterhood tinted with black humor and sparkled with lavish doses of Caribbean imagery. Isabel is a loving and witty elderly widow with plenty of caring left to give. Soon after she decorates an exuberant and very personal funeral for her late husband, she’s enlisted by Toña—a power player in the neighborly gossip milieu—into producing custom-made and one-of-akind funerals for the local parishioners of a middle-class barrio in Puerto Rico. Perfume de Gardenias puts caregiving at the center of the frame while picturing a candid take on the cycle of life and death, the relevance of mourning rituals, and the importance of companionship. This provocative reflection on death and mourning, featuring veteran actress Luz María Rondón in her first moviestarring role, offers a playful and darkly comic perspective on Puerto Rico.
In person: Macha Colón
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