Friday, January 20, 2017

‘Memories of a Penitent Heart’: When Your Film Puts Your Own Family on the Line

Sundance Fellow Cecilia Aldarondo’s ‘Memories of a Penitent Heart’ unearths painful family history.

Cecilia Aldarondo is having a banner run. Her documentary Memories of a Penitent Heart premiered to critical acclaim at Tribeca Film Festival last year, where it was picked up for broadcast on the prestigious documentary series, POV. She made the Filmmaker Magazine 25 New Faces of Independent Film list. Now, en route to her second feature, she’s been selected as one of only six Women at Sundance fellows, a program in its fifth year that supports emerging female directors and producers.

But, as with any first-time filmmaker, it wasn’t an easy path, and hers was all the more challenging because of her film’s subject matter and approach: it deals with the uncomfortable legacy of her homosexual uncle Miguel, who died of AIDS 25 years ago when Aldarondo was only five. She confronts her closest family members and ultimately reunites them with her uncle’s male romantic partner, who the conservative Catholic clan had largely shunned for the better part of a lifetime.

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‘Memories of a Penitent Heart’: When Your Film Puts Your Own Family on the Line

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