I Carry You With Me review – hybrid feature charts a longterm love
Heidi Ewing’s first narrative film uses elements of documentary in the true story of a relationship between Mexican immigrants in the US
Revolving around a tender true love story, this first narrative feature from seasoned documentary director Heidi Ewing (which won a couple of awards at Sundance) is a fascinating – though at times uneven – blend of film styles. Alternating between fictional re-enactments and real-life vignettes, it is a hybrid drama that charts the relationship between Ivan and Gerardo, two undocumented Mexican immigrants living in the US.
The evocative rumbles of the New York subway train act as an enigmatic conduit to Ivan’s youth in the Mexican city of Puebla. Bearing a striking resemblance to the real-life character, Armando Espitia portrays the young Ivan with a raffish charm. Struggling with a dead-end job and unable to provide for his son from a previous relationship, Ivan finds solace in his love-at-first-sight romance with the more privileged Gerardo, whose younger self is played by Christian Vázquez. Despite their differing backgrounds, the pair share similar emotional turmoil and guilt, fostered by their inability to live openly as a gay couple in early 1990s Mexico.