A Puerto Rican film inspired by death

[Many thanks to Peter Jordens for bringing this item to our attention.] Sandra Ramírez Ortega (Al Día) reviews the film Perfume de gardenias. This fill has won multiple awards (see more information below). Also see previous posts Perfume de gardenias, Meet Macha Colón, and Mac Cine-foro: Perfume de gardenias.

This black comedy tells the story of Isabel, a woman who prepares a special funeral after her husband’s death. After her loss and encouraged by her neighbor Toña, the protagonist begins to organize funerals for other inhabitants of her town. This will allow her to help more people and also, incidentally, cope with the pain and loneliness of her widowhood.

Isabel cannot afford buying original elements to organize funerals so she has to be creative and that is why she uses sawdust to make the wooden box shine. This unconventional style is not appreciated by most of the people in town; although it does have Toña’s approval.

“With each funeral, her creativity grows inspired by the details of the life of the deceased, and she becomes the funeral decorator of the community, until she is confronted with Toña’s imminent death. Isabel returns to her role as caregiver caring for a neighbor with a terminal illness, until she understands that sometimes something has to die for something else to flourish”, according to the synopsis of “Perfume de Gardenias”, a Colombian and Puerto Rican production. 

The film, which seeks to pay tribute to all Puerto Rican mothers who care for their families, is directed by Gisela Rosario Ramos, also known as Macha Colón. The director, who also performs rock and pop music with her band “Macha Colón y Los Okapi”, premiered “Perfume de Gardenias” in 2021 at the Tribeca International Film Festival in New York.

“As women, we grow up assuming that it is our duty to take care of our loved ones. Women are always expected to be caregivers. “Perfume de Gardenias” pays tribute to those women who care about others without any recognition. Women who sometimes are not even physically capable of doing so, but nevertheless take care of the sick and stay close to them in this important stage of their lives. Today, our obsession with being forever young makes us fear death, forgetting that death really is an inherent part of life. Preparing for our death should be part of our upbringing. I would love to inspire people to do it”, said Colón about her film, which was recently exhibited at the Lat Cinema Fest, the Latin American film festival of Catalonia, and will also be presented this week at the Casa de América in Madrid, Spain. .

The cast of “Perfume de Gardenias” is made up of Luz María Rondón, Sharon Riley, Katira María, Carmen Nydia Velázquez, Carmen Milagros Ortiz, Flor Joglar, and Abner Rivera.

For original article, see https://aldianews.com/culture/screen/tribute-boricua-women

Perfume de Gardenias
Director: Gisela Rosario Ramos a.k.a. Macha Colón
Year: 2021
Genre: Comedy, drama
Duration: 97 minutes
Synopsis: After the death of her husband, a grieving elderly woman is enlisted by a coterie of gossipy elderly women in her neighborhood to put her unusual talents to create customized funerals.
Web: https://www.perfumedegardenias.comhttps://habanerofilmsales.com/portfolio/perfume-de-gardeniashttps://www.facebook.com/perfumedegardeniaspr
Awards: Best Narrative Feature, Trinidad & Tobago FF 2021; Best Feature, Puerto Rico FF 2021; Best Feature, Festival Régionale et Internationale de Cinéma de Guadeloupe 2022

More film reviews:
‘Perfume de Gardenias’ is a witty dark comedy about death, https://butwhythopodcast.com/2021/06/14/tribeca-2021-perfume-de-gardenias-is-a-witty-dark-comedy-about-death
‘Perfume de Gardenias’ Film Review, https://www.blackfilm.com/read/2021/06/tribeca-2021-perfume-de-gardenias-film-review
‘Perfume de Gardenias’, comedia negra inspirada en funerales de Puerto Rico, https://www.efe.com/efe/usa/cultura/perfume-de-gardenias-comedia-negra-inspirada-en-funerales-puerto-rico/50000109-4561342
‘Perfume de Gardenias’ y el humor boricua que rodea a la muerte, https://www.todaspr.com/perfume-de-gardenias-y-el-humor-boricua-que-rodea-a-la-muerte

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