Reel Deal Recap - Y Tu Mama Tambien
The APT/Academic Council film panel discussion of "Y Tu Mama Tambien" on Saturday, January 31, 2004, was a great success. Attendance was 71, close to a full house. As people entered, both the film and the musical sound track were playing. Carlo's Mexican feast was great as usual, featuring tortilla soup and numerous other goodies from that country.
APT's Dave Lundin summarized the major reviews of the film and the major themes as follows:
1) Coming of age for the teen-age boys on their summer road trip and their journey of self-discovery regarding sex, self, life and death, truth and human relationships.
2) Coming of age for the two Mexicos - rich and poor.
3) Luisa's feminist liberation, freed from a loveless marriage.
4) The fragility of life and finality of death.
5) The post-modern concern with the nature of truth and memory - "Truth is always partial."
6) Homoeroticism, with the two boys finally kissing near the movie's end.
7) Sexuality and it's existential contribution to the meaning of life in the presence of inevitable death.
The panelists, Sheldon Annis, Ph.D., and Rick Fish, Ph.D., presented interesting and divergent viewpoints on the film. Dr. Annis stressed the political and cultural implications of the film, the rich versus poor twin Mexico's and how the have's were basically oblivious to the have-nots. He also believed that the boys learned virtually nothing of this reality on their journey and parted due to class differences.
Dr. Fish stressed the narcissism and "second individuation" process of adolesence - regression in the service of development. Luisa was a mother figure to the boys as their "young ego's ran rampant on a field of insecurity." He felt the boys experienced growth not sexually but in their ability to feel and express genuine emotion, and parted as their homosexual urges became threatening.
The polarity of the panelists sparked an interesting audience debate and discussion where it was concluded by many that a great film can contain opposite truths at the same time.