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    A Thousand Clouds of Peace

    Puffy "Clouds"

    "A Thousand Clouds of Peace," in which a gay teenager wanders the streets of Mexico City showing people his breakup letter, is cliché-filled and empty.


    The full title of "A Thousand Clouds of Peace" is actually "A Thousand Clouds of Peace Fence the Sky, Love; Your Being Love Will Never End." This gives some idea of the problems and pretensions that face this gorgeously filmed but fatally flawed coming-of-age drama.

    Original title: Mil nubes de paz cercan el cielo, amor, jamás acabarás de ser amor.
    Written and directed by: Julián Hernández.
    Produced by: Roberto Fiesco.
    Cast: Juan Carlos OrtuĖo, Juan Carlos Torres, Peria de la Rosa, Salvadore Alvarez, Rosa Maria Gómez, Mario Oliver, Clarisa Rendón Salvador Hernández, Pablo Molina, Manuel Grapain Zaquelarez, Miguel Loaiza, Pilar Ruíz, Llane Fragoso, Gloria Andrade, Martha Gómez, Martin Solis, Marcos Hernández.
    Cinematography: Diego Arizmendi.
    In Spanish with English subtitles.
    The film follows teenager Gerardo (Juan Carlos OrtuĖo) as he embarks on a dazed journey through Mexico City after receiving a Dear Juan letter from his lover Bruno (Juan Carlos Torres). Bruno seems to have been an inconsiderate, even cruel lover but has apparently captured Gerardo's imagination. The boy wanders the streets reading and re-reading the letter, showing it to strangers and acquaintances, looking for meaning in its more mysterious passages. There are some hints that there might be disease involved, with vague references to "danger." Everyone seems concerned and tries to warn Gerardo, but he ignores them, snatching bits of their sentences to play over again in his mind as he wanders and engages in the occasional desperate, lonely sexual encounter.

    A Thousand Clouds of Peace  
    Countless clichés haunt this story as doggedly as Bruno haunts Gerardo. The desperation, the danger, the loneliness of gay sex and love are depicted as they might have been in any one of a dozen arty gay films from 20 years ago. Gerardo is repeatedly offered money by his tricks but turns them down; they assume he's a hustler but he's just looking for love. That he is painted as a romantic but spends the film following dangerous-looking men into alleyways and having brutally quick unprotected sex is an irritating throwback to an earlier era of queer narrative art. Despite the lovely, Bergmanesque look of the film and its hypnotic, neo-realist detachment, there is not enough substance carry an audience through even the 80-minute run time. Long before the film's simultaneously bizarre and clichéd ending, my guest and I were longing for the credits to roll.

    APRIL 19, 2004

    Reader comments on A Thousand Clouds of Peace:

  • info   from Christian, Nov 25, 2004
  • my opinion about "A thousand clouds..."   from Natalia, Feb 6, 2006
  • Movie comment   from Eros Razzi, Jun 28, 2007
  • Where is Mr. juan Carlos Ortu√Īo?   from mirjana, Dec 31, 2009

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