#DocLab Fellow Cecilia Aldarondo on Orlando

It took me the better part of a week to figure out how I feel about the Orlando shooting. I keep thinking of all the young Latino–the vast majority Puerto Rican–men and women who died and wondering, how many were not out to their families? How many are having religious funerals in churches that did not accept them when they were alive? How many grieving parents are fighting with their children’s queer families over burial arrangements?

I never expected to make a film that anyone would connect to a mass shooting. But so many people have reached out to me in the past week, thinking of Memories of a Penitent Heart and the fact that I grew up in Orlando. And it’s because of these friends and family members, and in honor of those who died at Pulse, that Enzian Theater is hosting a benefit screening of Memories of a Penitent Heart in Orlando on Sunday, July 3 at 12pm with time for discussion afterward. Proceeds will be donated to local charities advocating for the shooting victims and working to end Islamophobia and racism.

Cecilia Aldarondo is a Firelight Documentary Lab Fellow and the Director of MEMORIES OF A PENITENT HEART is a story about the mistakes of the past and the second chances of the present, a cautionary tale about the unresolved conflicts wrought by AIDS, and a nuanced exploration of how faith is used and abused in times of crisis.

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