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Filmmaker Letter

Filmmaker Letter

I Carry You With Me

by director/co-writer Heidi Ewing

I broke many rules in the making of this film, not the least of which is “never make a film about close friends.” But when on a late night in 2012 my close friends recounted their life story to me, it was the most touching tale I had ever heard. Well, it was impossible to resist the urge to share it with others.

You may have seen some of my documentary work over the years (Jesus Camp, One of Us, DETROPIA) but I Carry You with Me is my narrative debut. The film is a cross-border production crafted lovingly by myself and many other dedicated artists in Mexico and the U.S. who connected deeply with this story of two men who decide to leave home, but not to lose home forever.

Our protagonists Iván and Gerardo meet at Bar Franco, a secret venue inside an abandoned mansion. The year is 1994 in the conservative city of Puebla, a moment where for these two men, an openly gay relationship would have dire consequences. Iván, an aspiring chef and the father of a young son, dreams of what his life may be like if he started over in the United States. But Gerardo, a teacher with a stable job, sees no reason to try his luck in “el gabacho.” Unwilling to accept what he sees as a socio-economic dead-end, Iván pays a coyote and heads north, promising Gerardo he’ll be back in one year.

At its core I Carry You with Me explores the allure—and the cost—of the American Dream as well as the power of love to propel us to do things we never thought we could. Our characters are immigrants, yes, but also sons and fathers and strivers and dreamers: fully fledged men on a breathtaking journey that forces them to face an irreversible decision.

I thought of you ever day while making this film. Every shot, breath and line of dialogue was designed to create a cinematic and touching experience for the eventual audience who would one day sit together in the dark and marvel at this unusual, true tale. The movie, like the rest of us, sat quietly in quarantine for a year, waiting to bust out into the open, to dazzle and buzz and to be of service…and then to pop you out into the light of day again, feeling so much love in your hearts. Enjoy. And thank you for supporting independent film.

Posted June 10, 2021

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