At 16 years old, Carlos undergoes a rite of passage to become a male. The threatening presence of the men of his community and his concern for his mother’s and his sister’s well-being inexorably push him towards seeking out a type of masculinity that conforms to his social context, a stereotype that will become a threat to himself. In private, Carlos faces and allows himself to explore his sensitivity, his fragility, and all that “real men” do not show. Carlos is torn between following the path of the men of the street in a marginal neighbourhood of Bogotá and following the beat of his contradictions. He dreams of family bliss on Christmas Eve, unaware that his life will hang in the balance.
This film is a re-encounter with moments that are still raw, which I lived through in my adolescence: my sources for making this film are my experiences. Growing up in a patriarchal setting of machos, of “strong men”, where concepts such as vulnerability, crying and fear are associ- ated with femininity, with the lack of virility, a flaw, I developed an aversion to the poetry I loved, towards expressing my feelings, sensations, exploring my sexual desires, towards sensitivity. The story of A Male reveals the vulnerability, the latent restlessness for that desired masculinity that hides the fear of something much deeper in men. This is an optimistic film that chooses life. It says that you can save yourself, that it is possible to break free from this framework of masculinity.