Socrates is 15 when his mother suddenly passes away. They left his father's home. Give that they come from very poor area, Socrates has to figure out a way to earn for himself and to make sure he can pay the rent. And hence starts the process of him knocking on familiar doors in the hopes that someone opens up to provide understanding and shelter. We don't know yet why Socrates left his father's home but he will do anything to avoid going back to him. He eventually get a temporary gig at a construction site where he meets fellow worker Maicon. Before you know on another day the two men are making out. They talk, have sex and Socrates feels he finally has an ally but thats short lived too. When Socrates is kicked out of his home, he is also rejected by Maicon, who apparently has a son and a wife. Starved, penniless and homeless, Socrates is a fighter unwilling to give up before every last conceivable option has been exhausted. He finally takes shelter at his cousin's home who informs his father. Its only when the father beats him up, we realize that the mother and son left his house because of his homophobia and he probably physically beat him about this.
The film is gut wrenching and depressing but its full of hope at the same time. The film is not about sexuality at all. That Socrates just happens to be gay explains his father's behavior, but the message is around empathy, hope and survival. Yes, he and Maicon have to keep their secret to themselves and pretend to be all masculine, but they can't ignore their social surroundings to be themselves. Shot in probably very real life locations of Sao Paulo, this film wouldn't have worked so beautifully if not for the masterful act by Socrates, who's onscreen for virtually every minute of the brief running time. Whether he is attempting to navigate his attraction to Maicon or coping with the traumatic loss of his mother or fighting to survive, genuinely looking for a legit job, the young actor fully draws us into the character's inner turmoil. It's heartbreaking to see the struggles given he is only 15 and suddenly he is expected to be all grown up. He keeps getting hopes and then dashed down again. In a very poignant scene when all the options are gone, he briefly decides to turn to prostitution but gives up at the very last minute. This gives us an insight into the kind of beautiful person Socrates is. Being gay, just adds a whole another layer to his complicated life. I think this is a powerful and important film that eventually gives us hope. The final scene of his mother's ashes slipping away form his hands is tear jerker. I think of what I was like at 15, and this portrayal gives me goose bumps.
I would highly recommend this film purely for good cinema and just the right amount of running time. Nothing over the top, very real portrayal of a teenage trying to survive in the big bad world where he is all alone. (7.5/10)