Frameline43 Film Review: “Family Members”

Gay teen Lucas and his older sister Gilda haven’t gotten along for years, but they are reluctantly journeying together to the family’s beach house to remember their mother, who has recently died. Determined to pay their last respects and be gone by morning, the two soon find themselves marooned in the sleepy Argentinian coastal town by a bus strike. Now stuck indefinitely, the siblings become embroiled in their rocky reunion, struggling to leave the past behind while facing an uncertain future.

Director Mateo Bendesky’s bittersweet and funny coming-of-age tale is refreshingly original and touching, as his two remarkable young actors (Tomas Wicz and Laila Maltz) begin to reveal buried secrets—to each other and themselves. Lucas, who derives more solace from bouts of fitness training or drug-addled partying, seems intent on distorting the reality of his circumstances, while his sister strives to understand things, even if it is through tarot card readings. But as their imposed holiday becomes more fraught, life-altering revelations will come to light in this tender and memorable tale about grief, forgiveness, and first crushes.