After the traumatic death of her husband, Aurora (Noelle Schonwald) decides to flee Columbia in search of a new life. Hiding in the trunk of a couple’s car, she decides to leave her daughter behind and make her way to Canada. Although she is unable to speak the language and struggles to get settled, Aurora knows that she’s done the right thing. Years later, after she’s been reunited with her daughter, Lucia (Natalia Aranguren), mother and daughter finally feel as though they have found a new home. However, when Aurora encounters an unexpected person from her past, she must attempt to reconcile her previous life without destroying her new one.
Written and directed by Lina Rodriguez, So Much Tenderness is a powerful and haunting film that highlights the challenges of immigrating and starting a new life. Compelling and contemplative, what’s most noteworthy about the film is its narrative structure. With long takes and scenes fueled by dialogue, Tenderness is a film that wants us to sit and see life unfold before us. While there will undoubtedly be some who struggle with this particular style of filmmaking, Rodriguez makes the most of her time to embed her film with a deeper sense of reality. Scenes with immigration counselors, potential employers, or simply spending time with friends discussing matters of life all feel authentic. Backed by solid performances from Schonwald and Aranguren, these discussions feel unforced and genuine as they focus on everyday issues such as beginning one’s new life or simply trying to make sense of sexuality and relationships.
So Much Tenderness premiered at TIFF ’22. For more information, click here.