17-year-old Carmen lives in a gypsy community in the suburbs of Madrid and works with her family in a street market. Like every other woman she has ever met, she is destined to live a life that is repeated generation after generation: getting married and raising as many children as possible. She gets engaged to Rafa. But one day she meets 16-year-old Lola, an uncommon gypsy girl who dreams about going to university, draws bird graffiti and likes girls. She also helps her family in the street market. They quickly develop a complicity with each other and discover a world that, inevitably, leads them to be rejected by their families.
The first film to deal with same-sex love in a Roma community
The Spanish film Carmen y Lola was shown in the U.S. with the translated title
Carmen & Lola (2018). The movie was written and directed by Arantxa Echevarría.
The film stars Zaira Romero as Lola, a young Roma woman. (We use the word "Roma," but apparently in Spain they still use Gitana or Gypsy. The Roma in Spain use a word for non-Roma that the subtitles call "Whiteys.") Rosy Rodríguez portrays Carmen, another young Roma woman.
Carmen is settled within the Roma community, willing to play out the traditional lifestyle of daughter, wife, mother. Lola doesn't want to break from the community, but she wants to be a teacher, which is unsettling to her parents.
Lola knows that she's a lesbian. Carmen doesn't know that she even might have lesbian tendencies until she meets Lola. The plots starts at that point.
Both Romero and Rodriguez are excellent actors, and they are both confident and comfortable in the roles they play. It's a pleasure to watch them act. The supporting cast is excellent as well.
We saw this film at The Little Theatre, as part of Rochester's wonderful ImageOut LGBT Festival. Carmen & Lola has a pretty good rating of 7.1. I think it's better than that, and I recommend it.
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