A Wild Patience Has Taken Me Here (2021) Review: As a society, we are yet to come to terms with queer lives and their desires. Popular culture is still taking baby steps to educate viewers about queer bodies and their everyday existence in society. As a result, it was the talk of the town in Hollywood last year when a romantic comedy, Bros, directed by Nicholas Stoller, was picked up for production by Universal Pictures and featured an openly queer casting.
Brazil, on the other hand, is far ahead of these portrayals. It is indeed one of the most progressive Latin American countries where their judiciary has ruled discrimination on the basis of sexuality or gender to be akin to racism. Moreover, it has over 300 active organizations working for the queer community and a 50+% acceptance rate of homosexuality, according to a survey conducted in 2022.
However, Brazil also witnessed, according to reports, the most significant rate of LGBTQ murders in the whole world. These numbers are essential to set the groundwork for discussing Erica Sarmet’s proudly political short film, A Wild Patience Has Taken Me Here (Uma Paciência Selvagem me Trouxe Até Aqui), which establishes queerness – particularly lesbianism- as a mode of lifestyle choice beyond identity marking.
Right from the start, the film contrasts an older lesbian and a group of four non-monogamous younger lesbians. Vange (played by Zelia Duncan) is this older, bike-riding cat mom who meets Ro (played by Bruna Linzmeyer), Alice (played by Camila Rocha), Angela (played by Lorre Motta), and Granado (played by Clarissa Ribeiro) outside a pub.
Duncan’s character, Vange, decides to give a ride to one of them and ends up staying in this queer household for a brief while. She expresses vocally that when she was younger, she was afraid to come out and express her queerness in public. Vange further informs the group about the secret bars in the localities of the city, which were popular for welcoming queer culture.
On the other hand, we are introduced to a group of four women as they walk around the streets, twerking and grinding in public and filming themselves with filters. They are unapologetic about their looks, behavior, and desires, helping us trace the quick but effective societal change in how queers are seen and perceived in society.
The film begins with Vange looking into the camera and saying, “No one’s fated or doomed to love anyone.” This sentence encapsulates the basic premise of queerness that forms an elaborate portion of this short – an orgy. Cris Lyra, the cinematographer, carefully places the camera at a distance. At the same time, the bodies of the five lesbians ride, quiver, and moan in pleasure until the audience starts feeling pulled into this bursting medley of desires.
This orgy takes place like an unsimulated form of art against a backdrop of silk blue drapes but doesn’t bear any conventional voyeuristic pleasure. It is stylish, hot, and one of the most poignant scenes in the short, after the sequence of the motorcycle ride in the beginning. The latter shows two queer bodies speeding against the wind and bright city lights as their bodies clutch and cuddle in a faint murmur of desire.
Sarmet’s film is consciously a mishmash of various forms of video – a film, a YouTube PSA, social media captures, an art animation project from college, and an elaborate sequence of an orgy, the centerpiece of this short. Certainly, this removes the short from structural normativity, making it a queer structural approach to cinema itself. It is only fitting that Sarmet chooses to use a collage of video formats, or experimental cinema, to give the audience a brief idea about the queer lives on screen.
Interestingly, at one point in the film, a TV reporter reads out a piece of news about the violence against a queer person. Obviously, this is a reference to the political environment in contemporary Brazilian society, directly contrasted to the safe, accommodating queer space that the five women had carved out for themselves indoors.
At various points in ‘A Wild Patience Has Taken Me Here,’ the five women turn to face the camera and open up about the first time they realize they are lesbian. In their words, they hold up their sexual identity as a form of political rebellion. However, the best part is that they welcome this generation and the next with open arms to stand up about being queer and experience queerness without fear. In addition, it is a wholesome invitation to form a sisterhood against an environment of intolerance against queers in the world.