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Bethesda, a Filipina performance artist, moves to San Francisco to workshop her latest piece dealing with the search for her biological mother. Upon moving, she discovers clues about her mother's whereabouts, a new family, and the startling discovery that she just might be a fruit-fly.
Again, and again, and again...
I echo David's words; this film truly is a gem, and I was fortunate enough to see "Fruit Fly" at the 2010 Tallgrass Film Festival in Wichita, KS. Described as a "love letter to San Francisco," I was delighted that my Middle American lingual naivete did not exclude me from the communal aspect of this film. In fact, H.P. Mendoza's musical offers what is lacking in many films--an open invitation. We're invited to join Bethesda as she questions her identity, questions her sexuality, questions her creativity through a whirlwind that demonstrates Mendoza's brilliance. Some of the comedic aspects are subtle; and all the better. To watch this film again and again seems to allow for the memory to capture the lyrics, and that leads to the inevitable--wanting to sing along. Furthermore, the invitation is to learn the language and become part of the community. Without spoiling some of the more avant-garde moments, the late-night crowd at the festival applauded after one of most interesting "duets" I have yet to see. All I need to say is laptop. Another song is simply a list of terms; an education for those outside the community, but still a risk as a writer--no verbs, just adjectives. That song has a cadence worth hearing. After those moments, the audience seemed more engaged with the characters and more willing to be "invited in". This film has a whimsicalness about it that captures the imagination as well as offers a sense of layered meaning. Watch it once for the wonder. Watch it again and again to learn the songs and join the community. Watch it again and again and again because the journey of finding somewhere to belong is everyone's story.
This movie is a sweet surprise-- a fantastically fun musical that both tickled and moved me. A really wonderful indie gem!
Fun, hilarious, and adorable!
I saw this film during the Seattle International Film Festival and it was delightful. The film is a gem and incredibly smart and self aware in the typically Mendoza fashion. I highly recommend watching this film.