By Maria Rochelle (@duraniemaria) – Guest Contributor
I watched the film “Unimaginable”, the feature-length film of the award-winning short film on same-sex domestic violence. It was well written by Cedric Thomas Smith out of Texas, and the cast of actors who portrayed the main characters gave an outstanding performance. Cedric wrote the script which I’ll call the bus, and the actors drove the bus. They delivered the creation of his film and brought it to life with lights, camera and action.
The leading characters in this feature-length film are: George Cisneros as Kirk, Carlos Camacho as Antonio and Maxine Greco as Cynthia (Antonio’s Mother).
Here’s the description of the film from “Unimaginable” Facebook page:
“How much does love have to hurt before it is not love?” is the question that plagues Antonio as the past demons of domestic violence resurface at the hands of his partner, Kirk. Antonio hides his physical and emotional pain from his all-knowing mother, Cynthia, who suffered such a tremendous amount of abuse at the hands of Antonio’s father that Antonio became a nurse to heal pain that he could not heal as a child. Antonio is jolted out of his denial by one of his patients, Michelle, who is also, a frequent victim of domestic violence. While Michelle does not consider herself a victim, but as simply part of a couple that “loves hard and fight hard”, a critical incident involving Michelle at the clinic forces Antonio to confront his own situation and reevaluate the “magic and tragic” of his life with Kirk before it is too late.”
Here are a few lines that really caught my attention:
Kirk “I buy him flowers because I love him.”
Cynthia “No, you buy him flowers because you beat the hell out of him.”
Another line from Cynthia:
“His love for you runs so deep. I know how that feels. Why else would we take the abuse? Love shouldn’t hurt like this.”
A line from Antonio:
“We can’t have the good without a little of the bad.”
I learned a few years ago that “hurting people hurt people.” You’ll see that in action in this film. It’s incredible and that you’ll be clutching your heart to stop it from pounding because you witness the characters’ flaws and feel the pain of the characters that are hurting. I’m familiar with the subject of domestic violence because of what I learned in training for work and spoke with victims as well. I know about it because it occurred in my family. So this movie touched on a few nerves of my own.
The cinematography was true to life. This isn’t a film that has special effects and a bunch of Hollywood touches. It’s a film with heart and a story and a topic that isn’t always discussed in the media: same-sex domestic violence. It also enlightened me even more on the subject. The focus of the film is not just on same-sex domestic violence of course, but it also goes into the back story of the other characters as well.
As I watched the film, I felt like I was a part of it. In each scene, I felt like I was there. That’s filmmaking at its best and wonderful acting. I felt for the characters and I emphasize with them. I wanted to yell at the screen when the police officers in one scene were being discriminatory in their actions against Kirk and Antonio. That scene made me angry.
In another scene where George Cisneros, who portrays Kirk, is in the kitchen drinking wine and cooking, he shows his acting abilities with his powerful expressions. There’s subtext in his expressions. There are feelings being expressed without them being verbalized.
I did have a chance to ask a couple of questions with George on his role as Kirk:
Maria- I’m curious for you as an actor, how hard was it for you to play the abuser? I saw the short as well, and you were convincing.
George: Well, as an actor, I did my homework on the character and the script. …I prepared myself.
Maria: You definitely did. What was the hardest part about playing Kirk?
George: Conveying and showing vulnerability.
There is some humor in the film and you will see some love as well. It’s definitely a drama with heart. The full feature film is touring festivals at this time, so it’s not available for public viewing as of yet. However, the short is available to watch on Vimeo and the link is listed with the social links. The film has been nominated for several nominations at Bare Bones Film Festival in Muskogee, Oklahoma. It will be screened on April 22 at the festival. Recently it has been picked as an official selection of the Thessaloniki LGBTQ Film Festival in Greece which will be at the end of September. An incredible film which I’m not surprised to see it go international.
Here are social links for Cedric Thomas Smith-writer and director of film