Inside Out 2022: Our Review of ‘We Will Never Belong’

Posted in Festival Coverage, Inside Out 2022 by - May 28, 2022
Inside Out 2022: Our Review of ‘We Will Never Belong’

Amelia Eloisa directs her own impressionistic screenplay of We Will Never Belong for mostly good results. Emi (Adriana Palafox), leaves her mother because she doesn’t approve of the latter’s lesbian relationship. She spends time with her maternal grandmother and her father, switching between them. Both the grandmother and the father have their benefits. But spending time with her father wins out by a hair since he lives with a stepdaughter, Gala (Magnolia) who’s around Emi’s age. Both she and Gala are around the age where the latter can decorate her room with bisexual lighting and collages. But she makes it look cool because she smokes pot.

There’s a tension between Emi and Gala, and that tension plays with the subtext that everyone thinks that she’s going to be just like her mother. The film barely calls her for who she might be, which makes the thing quasi-enticing. Notice the use of the prefix ‘quasi’. It’s there because Never Belong chooses to be blunt about Emi’s mother sexuality between the second and the third acts. In 2022, it’s difficult to argue for the treatment of 2LGBT+ characters as experiencing ‘the love that dareth not speaketh its name’. And this is true regardless of the film’s setting of contemporary quasi-bourgeois small town Mexico.

The fact that no one says anyone else’s name except Emi’s also makes this film difficult to watch. There are experimental films that are easier to follow than this. Although in fairness, people don’t call each other by their names in real life. Real life, however, has the same amount of dinner table arguments as the one we see here. And sure, films like this show how families deal with their 2LGBT+ members. But that aspect of the film makes it relatable for viewers regardless of their sexuality.

Find out how to watch We Will Never Belong here.

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While Paolo Kagaoan is not taking long walks in shrubbed areas, he occasionally watch movies and write about them. His credentials are as follows: he has a double major in English and Art History. This means that, for example, he will gush at the art direction in the Amityville house and will want to live there, which is a terrible idea because that house has ghosts. Follow him @paolokagaoan on Instagram but not while you're working.
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