The Garden Left Behind
Director: Flavio Alves
Writer: Flavio Alves, John Rotondo
Cast: Carlie Guevara, Miriam Cruz, Anthony Abdo, Alex Kruz, Tamara M. Williams, Ivana Black, Michael Madsen, Edward Asner
Part of: Transition Queer Film Festival
Seen on: 21.11.2020
Content Note: (critical treatment of) transmisogyny; murder of a trans woman; stalking; mention of suicide (in the review)
Tina (Carlie Guevara) lives with her grandmother Eliana (Miriam Cruz) in a small apartment. They are both undocumented immigrants from Mexico. Tina works as a driver and all the money she makes there that she can spare goes into her transition fund. She is waiting for her therapist (Edward Asner) to clear her for transition, and hopes she will have the necessary funds together by then. But even apart from transition, being a trans woman in New York isn’t easy. Her boyfriend Jason (Alex Kruz) seems uncomfortable with her transition, the guy in the corner store (Anthony Abdo) keeps eyeing her weirdly, and danger is always lurking.
The Garden Left Behind is an insightful look at the many struggles trans people have to face in the USA, including the unrelenting violence against them. It is with said violence that the film stumbles a little, but the effectiveness of the ending and the entire film still stands.