Several AfterEllen.com readers have written in to let us know about Lucia Puenzo‘s new film, El Niño Pez (The Fish-Child). The Argentinian film debuted at the Berlin International Film Festival earlier this year, and opened in Paris this week.
The film, which is based on a novel Puenzo wrote in her early 20s, tells the story of Lala, the daughter of an affluent Argentinian judge, who falls in love with Ypoá, her family’s maid. The two dream of a place they can live together, despite their differences and the taboo of lesbianism in their society. Things get even more complicated when Lala’s father is murdered.
The story is non-linear, starting with the love affair, flashing forward to Lala and Ypoá’s separation, and then following them as they try to find their way back to one another. Ypoá struggles to unravel the mysteries of her past (including the legend of a fish-child who guides the drowned), while Lala finds herself in a criminal institution for minors.
Critics can’t seem to decide whether or not to label it a love story or a mystery thriller. AfterEllen.com reader Caitlin called it “far from a whodunit,” and told us that by the middle of the movie she was as invested in the relationship as much as the Lala and Ypoá themselves.
Watch the trailer at the official El Niño Pez website, and let us know what you think. The film is scheduled to make several appearances on the LGBT film-fest circuit in the U.S. this summer.