The Garden Left Behind (2019) Poster

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7/10
A Flower Curtailed...
Xstal1 October 2020
Anyone who consumes film to be informed, educated, inspired, as well as to be entertained; who has an empathetic heart, a love of people (however they identify), a faith in fairness, of justice and of equality can't fail to be affected by the story and performances presented here. It has its faults and shortcomings, its not the best film you'll see this year, occasionally the grass ceases to grow - but none of that is due to the orientation of any of the characters, who bravely bring to your attention the challenges they face, just for being themselves, just for living their lives and for just wanting to be accepted for who they truly are and want to be.
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10/10
Beautifully written: a genuine, heartfelt film
rrotondo-6432510 September 2020
What a hidden gem! Do not miss this amazing film. Beautifully written, shot, directed and acted. I did not know what to expect when I started watching and the film truly blew me away. I learned so much and it touched my heart and soul.
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10/10
Incredibly moving and authentic storytelling
john-042309 September 2020
Incredibly moving and inspiring. The trans actors in the cast are amazing. Kudos to the filmmakers for including trans voices in the narrative, making for a real, authentic film about the trans experience. Highly recommend!
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10/10
Being trans isn't a crime, but it still gets punished
Red-12515 October 2019
The Garden Left Behind (2019) was co-written and directed by Flavio Alves.

Carlie Guevara as Tina, who is an undocumented trans woman of color living in New York City. She supports her loving abuela, portrayed by Miriam Cruz. Anthony Abdo is Chris, who works in a small grocery store where Tina shops. They see each other all the time, but they never interact.

All three actors are brilliant in their roles. It's a pleasure to watch them at their craft.

As is portrayed well in the movie, being an undocumented person of color is hard in NYC. Being trans adds to the very real danger.

This is a film where plot and character are both important. I won't say more about the movie except that it builds to a stunning climax.

We saw this movie at the Little Theatre, as part of ImageOut, the Rochester LGBT festival. (If you can't find the film at a festival, it will work well on the small screen.)

This movie has a solid IMDb rating of 7.5. I think that it's even better than that. Thank you to ImageOut for bringing to Rochester Tamara Williams, a supporting actor, and Kristen P. Lovell, the producer. It's always useful to listen to people who insiders when a movie was made. In this case, it was particularly helpful, because both women told us they were part of the trans community. Sadly, they told us that the hatred and prejudice we see on the screen are a real part of their lives in NYC. The film is realistic, and that's tragic.
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9/10
A timely story that everyone should see
shannon-8749017 October 2019
"The Garden Left Behind" is a powerful story that let's you feel like you are with the lead character as she works towards becoming her true self. The fact that most of the actors in this production had never been in front of the camera before makes the production even more fantastic, as a viewer would never know that, as the acting doesn't look like acting at all. I will have to watch the film again, but fair warning, you may need tissues while watching.
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10/10
Love this movie!!
MPDays10 October 2020
Such a fascinating story about a transcender woman who is faced with incredibly difficult challenges. Recommend for everyone. Such an important story to watch.
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10/10
Lovingly compassionate
GwynGilliss3 October 2020
The Garden Left Behind is a film for our times...a valiant attempt at a heartbreaking and inspirational story....well done everyone!
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10/10
A must-see view on important contemporary matters
mauriciodd-3090216 March 2019
"The Garden Left Behind" is a powerful and necessary reflection on such important matters that we are facing right now. It's a fantastic production, with a great story: a must-see.
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8/10
Beautiful movie about, love, friendship, and transformation
brennaus17 March 2019
Saw this at SXSW, where Brazilian director Flavio Alves won the audiences' award. The movie is about Tina, a trans-woman from Mexico, living as illegal immigrant together with her caring grandmother in New York. The movie is almost shot like a documentary, following Tina's struggle with love, anti-trans violence, and her medical and psychological transition to become a woman. Shot with mainly first-time actors from the New York trans activist scene (and a supporting role by Michael Madsen as barkeeper) the movie feels completely authentic and realistic. The director and his co-writer John Rotondo mentioned at a Q&A at SXSW that they had no prior knowledge about trans women, they wanted to learn more about this marginalized (and stigmatised) group, thus they made this film. The film heavily benefits from the producers' curiosity, the film is only partially activist, more an empathic study of people living on the edge of society. I myself did not know a lot about trans women, however, I could quite easily resonate with the protagonists' feelings and experiences. Basically, it is about love and hate and friendship, about trying to find out who you are and how to find your place in life.
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10/10
as IMPORTANT as films get
reeganmfabian26 March 2019
"The Garden Left Behind" is a timely, topical masterpiece that brings attention to the many issues our society chooses to ignore. Wonderfully and emotionally made: it is a picture that everyone must see at least once.
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10/10
Poignant cinema story telling
lewisduckarthur16 March 2019
Well crafted tale , cinematically innovative Ed Asner and the rest of the cast push the envelope on an intimate story dealing with Transgender issued
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10/10
Must watch
jessetayeh16 March 2019
Warning: Spoilers
Really a must watch! Incredible from beginning to end.
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10/10
Excellent Film That Raises Awareness On Important Issues
Lisa-Reznik22 February 2020
The film draws us in right away with a character who faces a number of obstacles. She faces a world most of us aren't familiar with, and audiences learn a lot as the story unfolds.
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10/10
Incredible.
zoecolts21 October 2019
This film is nothing shy of incredible, from start to finish. Every single character, scene, action, etc., has been carefully chosen for the film, and you can tell. Having a strong cast and crew made up trans actors/actresses fulfilling roles *of* trans people, alongside the director and screenwriter(s) speaking with trans people before even starting to create the film, truly makes this special. Everything is so genuinely done with great care and authenticity, and is fully executed immensely well. I'm looking forward to see where else this film goes - I know for certain that it'll be receiving even more awards than it already has in the weeks and months to come.
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9/10
Not Another Predicable Trans Movie
zac-682749 September 2020
The Writer & Director work is noteworthy! A fresh scenario and epilogue with sublime cinematography sprinkled throughout the movie.
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9/10
Amazing ensemble; stunning portrayal
csleach-629-35566014 October 2019
Alves and his team deserve major kudos for this film. Tina and Abuelita both did an impressively sensitive job of struggling toward a better life. Tina in particular was totally convincing in her role, and had to be as determined and creative as the team that managed to bring the film into being. This story has twists and turns that take my breath away, and that well qualify for intense discussion about many many facets of diversity we haven't yet begun to fathom. Every family and every school would benefit from doing an extended round table discussion the the issues sensitively presented! Bravo, Team Alves!!
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10/10
A must see!
Leiby8516 August 2019
#TheGardenLeftBehind is a must see film for everyone! Especially for those that falsely assume transgender life.

Flavio Alves delivers a thought provoking film about an undocumented transgender from Mexico struggling with life in New York. Not only does the film ring true to the transgender community, the added undocumented Mexican immigrant aspect ensures how real the struggle is.

The film was thoughtfully researched and rich in detail that will blow your mind away. I highly recommend this film!

Please watch and spread the word that the trangender community is human like everyone else in society!
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10/10
One of the most raw, authentic and real cinematic stories regarding the trans experience
AngelicaCTorres19 March 2019
Warning: Spoilers
I had the esteemed honor of attending a private screening of The Garden Left Behind prior to it being released to theaters and I can honestly say, as a woman of trans experience I was deeply moved and effected by this beautiful yet tragic story of a young trans female navigating through transitioning, relationships and a strong bond with her grandmother. It was as if I was watching my own life story unfold on screen.

The Garden Left Behind tells a story of Tina, a young trans woman just beginning to pursue her medical transition through the guidance of her fellow trans sisters. Throughout the film, Tina is faced with a number of challenges from being publicly humiliated and accosted in the streets by transphobic men, she has a "boyfriend" that refuses to take their relationship seriously and treats her as a sex object (much like most trans women are treated by cisgender, heterosexual men in real life) and and a grandmother, Eliana, that doesn't quite understand Tina's decision as to why she wants to transition.

The Garden Left Behind touches on so many real elements of living openly as a trans person, from the physical violence we face, to the difficulties of finding a meaningful relationship with a significant other, to how our biological families also go through a sort of "transition" with us.

What was most impactful for me was 1. Tina's sweet relationship with her Eliana. While I was dismayed to see Eliana misgendering Tina and calling her by her birth name (This is particularly triggering for me as I've had to experience this with my own biological family) you get to witness the progression of acceptance Eliana has for her granddaughter. There are moments between Tina and her Eliana that pull at your heart strings because there's such a genuine love between the two of them. 2. The unreciprocated love and care Tina has for Jason was all too familiar to me as a trans woman. Trans women are always made to feel as though we are a dirty secret, something to be hidden in secret and never brought into public spaces when dating cisgender, heterosexual men. There's a stigma and shame that cis-straight men have attached to dating trans women because of ignorance and bigotry. I've experienced this my entire life and at 32 years old, I'm sad to say I'm still single and searching for that one man that will treat me as a human being and not just a sex object to be used and then discarded of. 3. And lastly, the ending of the film is the most difficult, and emotionally painful (bordering on physically painful for the viewer) part of the film for me to watch. As I type this, I feel a lump in my throat and am trying my best to hold back tears. Tina receives news that unfortunately hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is not something that physically she'll be able to do, despite wanting it so badly. The film then takes a turn for the absolute worst when the local boys that harass her begin to yell at her while in their car as she walks down a dark, lonely street. Amongst the group is a young man, Chris, that sees Tina nearly every day and is usually kind to her. Throughout the film, you see him attempt to call her and carry conversations with her but he always end up shying away from doing so. While his friends badger Tina, something snaps in Chris who is carrying a baseball bat. He abruptly gets out of the car and begins to violently beat Tina to death while Tina's blood splashed onto Chris's face. Later on, doctors give Eliana the news that Tina's died and the doctor asks her to confirm her name...to which her Eliana responds, "Tina" with tears streaming down her face. Eliana later goes to a park, crumbles onto a bench and opens an envelope. The envelope contains money that Tina saved up for Eliana to visit her homeland. The film ends with Eliana crying hysterically on the bench while clutching the money to her chest, clearly in tremendous pain. I was overcome with grief and sobbed having watched the last few moments of this film as it is in fact our reality. Trans women are beaten to death simply for existing in public spaces. I've experienced my fair share of harassment/transphobia and fear for my life every single day that I walk outside my door.

This film meant a great deal to me as it was such a spot on depiction of what trans women, especially trans women of color, go through on a daily basis. While it's a scripted film, it's a very real narrative for the trans community. And to have a film like this be so inclusive of trans actors was the cherry on top of a fantastic cape. I've been recommending this film to all of my friends (cis, trans, gay, lesbian, etc.). It's such a vital film and an educational story for those that do not quite realize how difficult it is to be a trans person in the world. I'm thrilled a film like this exists and am so thankful to the filmmakers, actors, actresses and all that were involved in creating this film. Please go see it, support it, discuss it with your family and friends!
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10/10
This is a must-see
blondiekids15 March 2019
We need more movies like this out there ! You must see this movie it's wonderful !
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5/10
Inside more important
ks-605001 October 2020
Few transgender movie theme be frank, comparing to gay, I believe the T really much smaller market. Probably it's one of few, things happening are kinda expected. Haven't said that, it is good movie. Let us know how these people live and discrimination is hard to eliminate. People judge by appearance and it's hard to remove the fact of it. It's reality but this movie did remind me an important point. We only live once.
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10/10
Loved It
rachelnavarronyc11 July 2020
Stunning film. An intimate tale of adversity and love.
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10/10
Beautifully written important piece of social commentary
deme-4132322 February 2020
"The Garden Left Behind" gives us a moving account of a young woman trying to embrace her life's path despite multiple obstacles that society has put in her way. In our current social cultural climate, where hate is constantly being spewed towards so many of society's more marginalized groups, this film gives us insight into the deep familial love, ties of friendship and bonds that make all of us human. I highly recommend this film!
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10/10
One of the best movies of the year
reelkev21 October 2019
This film is topical and impactful. It's one of the best films if the year and deserves all of the awards it receives.
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10/10
MUST SEE
nmayer-421154 April 2019
Warning: Spoilers
Great movie! Focuses on a current social issues (immigration) and the struggle of being undocumented in USA.
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10/10
Helped Me Understand
pandros-4845129 August 2020
Poignant. This film brought me into the world of suffering of those trapped in the wrong body.
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