AUGUST 3: Mosquita y Mari is released (2012)


Written and directed by Aurora Guerrero, the film Mosquita y Mari was first released in
the United States on this day in 2012. The indie film follows the story of two
Chicana teen girls as they form an unlikely friendship only to realize their feelings for each other might be a little more than friendship.

The film starts off focusing on a 15-year-old girl named Yolanda. The
daughter of Mexican-American immigrants, she centers her life on pleasing her
parents with straight A’s in school while living out the rest of her life on autopilot.
It’s only when a new family moves in across the street that she
is shaken out of her daze by their daughter, Mari, who is in Yolanda’s class at school. At the beginning,
Yolanda and Mari are set on completely opposite ends of the teen social
spectrum; Yolanda is quiet, reserved, and the eternal nerd while Mari is a
picture perfect Cool Girl. Their two worlds collide when Yolanda saves Mari
from getting caught smoking up in the school bathroom and a friendship under
the guise of “study partners” is struck up. What was once an insult Mari called
Yolanda in class – “Mosquita” – becomes an intimate nickname, an abandoned
garage becomes their secret hide away spot, and over time, their two worlds
become one.

Between Mosquita y Mari and The Way He Looks, romantic bike rides down empty streets is now officially a staple of gay culture (x). 

Mosquita y Mari is
a subtle movie; the words “gay” or “lesbian” are never said aloud and there is
no dialogue that shows the girls pondering their sexual orientation, but
rather, the film gives us lingering shots of Yolanda watching Mari undress and moments
of physical affection that asks both the characters and the audience, “Is this
how all girl friends interact or is this something more?” As the film
progresses, it becomes obvious that Yolanda and Mari have feelings for
each other, but even the the realism of the story is unrelenting – Mari’s
economic worries for her family, Yolanda’s parents’ expectations of perfection,
the general kaleidoscope of identity issues a teen girl faces, are all still
there. Having rightfully won major buzz at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival, Mosquita y Mari is a down to earth
coming-of-age movie and offers a sweet and true depiction of Aurora Guerrero’s real life experience growing up as a young lesbian in the tight-knit neighborhood of Huntington
Park, L.A.