BebaKathleen Sachson June 27, 2022 at 3:52 pm

A person is more than the sum of their parts, but sometimes it is crucial to examine the parts so the sum can be better understood. In her debut documentary writer-director Rebeca Huntt examines the details of her Afro Latina heritage to provocative effect, embracing the beauty as well as the scars that blight her and her family’s history. A self-proclaimed daddy’s girl, she’s especially close with her father, an immigrant from the Dominican Republic who came to the United States to escape General Trujillo’s despotic rule; her mother, with whom she has a more complicated relationship, hails from Venezuela, where Huntt (nicknamed Beba by her mother) as a younger girl enjoyed a certain lyrical freedom she’s never experienced stateside. She also profiles her siblings, an older sister and brother who are similarly complex, likewise impacted by generational trauma and the difficult living arrangements (the whole family shared a rent-controlled one-bedroom apartment near New York City’s Central Park) that exacerbate strained familial tensions. Lastly, Huntt interrogates her college experience at Bard, where she was but one of a handful of minority students, and what’s come after, delving into the unique circumstances of temporarily dallying among the privileged class and exiting that fabled microcosm with more questions about their inborn entitlements than answers. Huntt doesn’t let herself off the hook, however, confessing past indiscretions and generally showcasing some of the more impudent parts of herself with aplomb. Poetically shot and edited, it’s an audacious coming-of-age documentary-memoir that’s wholly singular to the filmmaker herself. R, 79 min.

Gene Siskel Film Center

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