Nicol Ruiz Benavides
In a suburban Chilean town, residents are haunted and fascinated by a bright alien light that flashes intermittently from the cosmos above them. No one knows where they come from, or what the purpose of their visits are – these mysterious visitors from the skies could bring annihilation, or a universe of possibility.
70 year old Claudina faces another kind of annihilation and universe of possibility when her husband passes away and she moves in with her daughter and grandson. With the loss of her husband, her routine, and her home, a vast empty space stretches all around her and within her. One day she glimpses her daughter’s neighbour, Elsa, and is immediately drawn to Elsa’s confidence and charm. She soon finds herself swept into a delicious love affair, and a new awareness of herself. As she connects with her sexuality and finds a community of queers who find refuge in the local underground queer bar and cabaret, Claudina becomes enamoured not just by Elsa and her new friends, but also by the sense of freedom and autonomy that this journey offers her. But the precious world she is building is threatened by the Catholic conservatism of this small town, her daughter’s outrage and the uncertainty of her future. Claudina once again faces annihilation or possibility — will she stay grounded to the earth, or follow the lights in the sky to a new world?
This beautiful film shows that one’s life can shift at any point, and that age does not need to be a barrier to change and growth. Nor does age need to steal sensuality, curiosity or courage. Rosa Ramírez Ríos is utterly captivating as Claudina, portraying experience and innocence, strength and vulnerability. The chemistry in her romance with Elsa is tender and electric, and their scenes together reveal a naturalistic sensuality that is rare for older women on screen. Director Nicol Ruiz Benavides guides us through this journey with a steady, thoughtful hand on the camera, and a romantic eye. Forgotten Roads is an enchanting journey of self discovery.