Festival Review: You’ll Never Be Alone (2016)

Nunca Vas A Estar Solo

A portrait of Chilean society waking up to homosexuality, Alex Anwandter’s You’ll Never Be Alone turns homophobia into a vigilante fight for justice.

I Fought The Law

by Mark Wilshin

You’ll Never Be Alone

CAUTION: Here be spoilers

Based on a real-life case of torture and murder that scandalised Chile, You’ll Never Be Alone is the fictionalised account of a homophobic attack that leaves teenage Pablo (Andrew Bargsted) beaten to a pulp and hospitalised in a coma. The focus of Alex Anwandter’s story however is neither the rampant homophobia that sees hatred turn to violence or boyfriend neighbour Félix deny his sexuality, but rather the aftermath and its effect on society – here personified in the curmudgeonly figure of Juan (Sergio Hernández of Gloria). A pillar of society who works weekends to build Chile into a great country, he’s consistently screwed over – by the health insurance company that refuses to foot the bills for treatment caused by third party aggressors and by his “partner” who merges the mannequin-making factory from under his feet. But with a camper-than-camp young hero – a bleached blond, occasional drag wearing, sassy young teen and an aggressive lesbian doctor, Alex Anwandter’s gets the pitch for his sexuality drama all wrong. And with a lack of justice due to a dearth of witnesses, You’ll Never Be Alone refuses to unpick the cowardice and fear at play. But in focusing on the sins of the father, You’ll Never Be Alone creates an enigmatic drama of empowerment – from victim to avenging hero. Only now on the wrong side of the law.

You’ll Never Be Alone is now showing at the Berlin Film Festival

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