Friday, June 21, 2024

Let Our Word of Mouth Help This Great Film Not Be Left Behind

A topical movie that touches on trans lives matter and ICE comes to select theatres near you (YES, real theatres) followed by virtual screenings.

Last year, “The Garden Left Behind,” my favorite LGBT movie I discovered at film festivals, will make its theatrical and virtual debut starting this Friday.

It is not only a film festival favorite but an overall great movie and should not be put in a box as just a great LGBT, trans or independent movie – it’s an excellent film period and needs to been seen by people who enjoy quality movies – regardless of their genre or budget.

The story is very topical. An undocumented trans woman has been flying under the radar as a cab driver and living her best life. When she decides it’s time to make the transition, she moves into the spotlight as she befriends trans activists and works with them on making the public hear their cause. Will the light now shining on her bring her to the attention of ICE?

Star Carlie Guevara makes one of the most impressive film debuts I’ve ever seen, and has already won several awards for her work from various 2019 film festivals.

Her Tina is tough in the streets of New York, and yet she’s a loving granddaughter who wants to ensure she cares for her family will trying to find love. Some of her choices end with sad results, but like all of us, she learns and grows.

She is supported by a great cast with the most noteworthy names being Michael Madsen and Emmy Award winner Ed Asner.

Director/writer Flavio Alves has instantly become one to watch. Prior to this film, I had never heard of this Brazilian dynamo, and I have since reviewed his catalog and have discovered that he is no one hit wonder.

If you need statistics to prove this film is one not to miss, it so far has won over 25 awards at film festivals and Alves himself has amassed 51 awards. On Rotten Tomatoes, it has a 96% approval ratings from critics – audience votes won’t count until it plays at theatres. Do vote to help the movie to find a broader audience.

I see a lot of movies when preparing to report on a film festival. When I saw “The Garden Left Behind,”  I instantly knew I was in the presence of brilliance. This movie made me laugh and cry and go from happy to sad. Occasionally, an independent movie like this gets lucky to find a bigger audience. This mostly happens from word of mouth. See this movie and then talk about it and share it.

Find it at a theatre near you opening Friday and to see virtually in September by going to

#GayFilmFestival #AtHomeFilmFestival #ReelKev #TransLivesMatter #LGBTFilmFestival

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Kevin M. Thomas

Kevin M. Thomas, or @ReelKev, is an arts blogger and entertainment reporter. In addition to his own website, and ReelKev YouTube channel, Kevin used to be the LGBT arts writer for and contributes to as well as a semi-regular on San Francisco's cable TV show, "10 Percent."

Kevin M. Thomas has 157 posts and counting. See all posts by Kevin M. Thomas

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