Alberto Triana’s Novenario is the story of a young woman struggling to understand and accept her true identity. Adrianna’s (Amanda Guardado) crisis begins on the first day of her new job, filling out the ethnicity boxes on her human resources form. However, her hopes of making a good first impression are soon complicated when she receives news that her grandmother just passed away. Familial and cultural pressure insists she spends several days mourning with her estranged family.
Adrianna’s return home is full of dread and anxiety as she has been MIA from her family since college. Along for the journey…and support…is her girlfriend, Amy (Anna Lee). Amy is another surprise for her old-fashioned family. While meeting with family, Adrianna is inundated with passive-aggressive small talk about not knowing Spanish, her new corporate job, and her girlfriend. Finally, Adrianna’s story comes to a head when she must face the one she hurt the most…her father.
“…she must face the one she hurt the most…her father.”
Novenario astutely addressing the primary conflict that wages with Adrianna. Yes, she is struggling to come to grips with her cultural heritage and sexuality. But, at the same time, she is part of an imperfect yet loving family, and as young people (indeed, I remember my post-college days), one has to decide what role one’s immediate family plays going forward. For Adrianna, it’s just too easy to disappear, and Novenario becomes her prodigal story.
Alberto Triana tells a sweet, touching story with a fantastic cast that never overplays the drama. Amanda Guardado is spot-on as the conflicted Adrianna and adeptly carries the short film’s narrative. I’m about twenty-five years removed from my identity crisis, yet Novenario brought up some very real memories and emotions. It might just do that for you.
"…struggling to come to grips with her cultural heritage and sexuality."