Cousins is an emotionally-charged gay romance from Brazilian filmmaking duo Mauro Carvalho (who also shot the film) and Thiago Cazado (who also wrote and stars).
By Patrick Donovan – Author/Screenwriter
US Navy Disabled Veteran – 1980 – 1991
Seattle, WA (The Hollywood Times) 10/23/2019
“A light comedy about love, the clash of reality between two cousins, unusual situations, and unexpected attractions.”
– Patrick Donovan
About the film:
“We wanted to make a funny story on the theme: the conflict of homosexuality within the family, within religion, but with humor. We chose lightness,” says Mauro Carvalho, Director of Photography and co-director of the film. “We believe the public will have fun. It’s an easy movie to identify. It’s good to be able to laugh at this angry conservatism,” says Thiago Cazado, actor, screenwriter and co-director.
Young Lucas lives with his religious Aunt Lourdes in a quiet country town, helping her by playing hymnals on his keyboard for their weekly church meetings at their house. However when the charitable aunt announces the arrival of her nephew Mario, a distant cousin Lucas never knew about, fresh out of jail, things start to get interesting. The clash of reality between the cousins ends up causing unusual situations, and an unexpected attraction between the boys.
Starring: Juliana Zancanaro, Thiago Cazado, Paulo Sousa
Directed by: Mauro Carvalho, Thiago Cazado
Written by: Thiago Cazado
Produced by: Alessandro Costa
So, a young man, Lucas, is in a garden tending to it as two women discuss what’s wrong with him and that only God and the Lady of the Lord can guide him. You see, the woman, well, one of the women, is the Lucas’s aunt Lourdes and she’s got news to tell him. His cousin, someone he never knew existed, is coming the next day and, oh Lord, protect us, the aunt eases him into accepting this new boarder. It’s his cousin for god sakes and she’s quickly telling him, he’s just gotten out of jail, prison you know, as she puts it, kissing her necklace of the Virgin Mary every five minutes and looking up at the ceiling. She’s tells Lucas that she’s going on a mission for a few days and Lucas will have to share his room. He’ll have plenty of time to get to know each other, right? OK! That’s the set up!
His aunt lights a candle in on the counter with a mini statue of the Virgin Mary stating “God will protect us,” all the while Lucas sits there with his mouth open totally blown away by what just happened. Oh, yeah, what “did” just happen anyway?
Lucas’s aunt Lourdes, ironically, the name of the Our Lady of Lourdes which is a Roman Catholic title of the Blessed Virgin Mary venerated in honor of the Marian apparitions that occurred in 1858, mind you. Well, she’s is in Lucas’ room making the bed, taking holy water and blessing everything including her nephew’s forehead. But when a cockroach is seen crawling on the floor, the woman transforms into the aunt from HELL as she slams her flip flop several times on the poorest of God’s creatures proclaiming, with a smile, “This one’s already in hell!” Then makes the sign of the cross, kisses her pendant, blesses herself and smiles! EVIL!
Lucas is an accomplished musician and the organist for his aunts weekly church services. But, there’s a young lady, Julia, who wants this young man’s attention and asks him to teach her how to play the organ. But he hardly notices as she gives him a kiss on the cheek thinking nothing of it. Then, Mario arrives!
Introductions and a prolonged, hug! Mario is a bit, well, different, as he has just gotten out of jail. Mario shares something about his parents but as Mario is shown the bathroom and wants to shower, he disrobes as his cousin is still in there getting a towel when the Lucas turns, coming face to face with the one-eyed monster. He is, curiously uncomfortable and leaves Mario to do his thing.
But there’s the question of Julia, who’s starry-eyed for our young organist during another music lesson but instead of being interested in playing the organ, she’s more interested in sitting in Lucas’s lap where there’s another organ that’s got her attention taking Lucas by surprise! He again, hardly notices and like Mrs. Cravits from Bewitched, Julia is plotting and watching, snooping around and spying gathering evidence for something she has planned.
This is a wonderful film about two young men, who never knew each other existed and get to know each other on a very personal level. It’s about Auntie Lourdes, who’s suffers from back pain and getting behind on rent. It’s about a bunch of old hags that Lourdes ministers to, which appears that she’s playing the part of a child of God to keep herself in good graces so she can maintain the roof over her head. But it’s about really about a message. That message is simply: God is Love! That message holds true through to the very end of this wonderful film about a transformation of love. Moreover, it’s about acceptance, being God-like and how to stop being false and true to oneself.
Lucas and Mario, cousins true and true, become closer because of an invisible bond that exists both, between two people and many, but between God, or your higher power, whichever you feel comfortable identifying with. This film shows you how, when people try to destroy the love you have by their jealous rage and revenge, that love’s bond is a far, far stronger one than revenge or hate.
Watch this film and know that whatever you are, whoever you are, and whomever you love, go for it because if it makes you happy, and smile that know that God (your Higher Power), is shining through you and your partner as She has always known, all your life, who you are and what you will become. Embrace it, love it and accept it and smile with joy that is bound by love. Remember, God is Love!
Photo Credits: Justin Cook PR
Genre: Documentary, War
Cousins: Brazilian Portuguese w/ English subs / Brazil / 82 minutes