Memorial Film Pedro Kicks off Fusion Festival

Pedro Zemora face a face to the many people with HIV to many young people in the early 1990s. Dustin Lance Black's latest film honors him and kicks off Fusion, a film festival for LGBT people of color in Los Angeles.

BY Kyle Buchanan

March 06 2009 12:00 AM ET

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Later, the film begins
to sketch in Zamora's pre-MTV life, and it's here that the
film is strongest -- aided immeasurably by
Six Feet Under

's Justina Machado, who plays Zamora's sister, Mily. Still,
even in these sections, Black and director Nick Oceano break up
the narrative with documentary-style interviews to the camera.
Machado's winning presence helps, but when we constantly
see her talking to an off-screen interviewer as Mily, one
can't help but think the real Mily would have been more
effective (and affecting). Unfortunately, Pedro never surmounts
the nagging suspicion that this story would have been better
served as a straight-up documentary.

Other high-profile
screenings at Fusion include the self-explanatory
Still Black: A Portrait Of Black Transmen

and the lesbian comedy
I Can't Think Straight,

a fest favorite. As ever, some of Fusion's strongest works come
in their shorts programming.
The Young and Evil

was a provocative dramatic hit at Sundance, and it's balanced
at Fusion by Brian Harris Krinsky's fun
Dish

, which finally lets gay teens participate in that uniquely
male rite of passage: wildly exaggerating your sexual conquests
so your high school classmates will think you're cooler.
Progress, indeed.

Outfest's Fusion Festival runs from March 6-8.

Tags: film

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