A Family Affair

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By: Grace Paulus, Miami Future Cinema Critic

First off, I would like to thank the Miami International Film Festival for this amazing opportunity to participate in the Miami Future Cinema Critics Program.

Among the playlist of films so far, I’ve noticed an overwhelming sense of family and acceptance.

First on the list, The Boy Who Smells Like Fish (directed by Analeine Cal y Mayor) is definitely an unusual film in more ways than one. Mica (Douglas Smith) was born with an odd fish odor condition called, Trimethylaminuria (try saying that twice let alone spell it).  With a troublesome childhood Mica, struggled to live a normal life. He usually stayed at home giving tours of the Guillermo Garibai museum (a made up Mexican singer).  While it seemed hopeless for Mica to ever feel normal around people, there was one person who wasn’t bothered by his fishy stench; Laura, played by Zoe Kravitz. Accepting their oddities as similarities Mica and Laura learn to accept each other.

Analeine Cal y Mayor presented a touchy disorder in a comedic and lighthearted way. With this coming of age story, The Boy Who Smells Like Fish certainly reminds us all of our own awkward childhoods.

Jasper Glanslandt’s drama, Blondie presents an unexpected and unusual family reunion. Secrets are revealed when three sisters gather for their mother’s birthday party. The performances of Carolina Gynning (Elin), Helena af Sandeberg (Katarina), and Alexandra Dalstrom (Lova) tied this unconventional film together. Reflecting influences of Yasujiro Ozu, Swedish director, Glanslandt played an emphasis on stillness and slow-paced narrative that some may find uncomfortable to watch. However, this style of filmmaking reflects the discomfort of family relationships. Blondie is a resonating film that “captures” a family’s journey of ups and downs to ultimately discover that family is about being together.


Jaie Laplante

Jaie Laplante is the Miami Film Festival's executive director and director of programming. Learn more about Jaie on Programmers.