TIFF 2022: “So Much Tenderness”

L to R: Noëlle Schönwald (Aurora) and Natalia Aranguren (Lucía) in SO MUCH TENDERNESS by Lina Rodriguez, photo courtesy of Rayon Verde

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Nothing is more stressful and depressing than leaving home for a new country, not knowing what it has in store for you. Fear, repression and persecution are some of the reasons people flee their country. Domestic abuse, sadly, is also one of them. But what happens when what you fight hard to leave behind comes after you?

Written, produced and directed by Lina Rodriguez, “So Much Tenderness” follows Aurora (Noëlle Schönwald), a Colombian environmental lawyer who seeks refuge in Canada, after leaving Colombia behind, after her husband’s murder. After years pass and bieing able to obtain refugee status in Canada, the woman enjoys her quiet life with her daughter Lucia (Natalia Aranguren) until the moment when the reason she left her homeland resurfaces in Toronto. Everything that was built patiently and carefully begins to fall like dominoes. Instead of creating new memories, Aurora must fight the painful past.

“So Much Tenderness” is a slow paced drama that revolves around the mother-and-daughter relationship and the tough decision one must make to preserve what appears to be happiness. For some, the film may appear uneventful and uninteresting, but once it reaches the second act, it becomes more interesting. Some scenes could have been left out, as they did not bring much significance to the storyline, but it allowed to show the characters of Aurora and her daughter, which captures both the tension and serenity between the two of them.

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