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Hummingbirds Trailer: A Look at Life on the Border

Photo Courtesy of Extra Terrestrial Films

Happy Pride! For over 50 years, June has been a celebration of LGBTQIA pride with parades, festivals, and events all around the world. What better way to celebrate than to check out the newest queer cinema? For this first Trailer of the Week in June, I wanted to highlight a documentary that speaks to sexuality today. The first trailer for the upcoming Hummingbirds shows the reality of queer life in the shadows of the Texas borderlands.

Hummingbirds is unique because of its subjects: Silvia Del Carmen Castaños and Estefanía “Beba” Contreras. Not only are they in front of the camera, but they are behind it as well. Hummingbirds is their story, told in their voice, and their vision. The documentary follows their final summer of adolescence in the limbo of the Texas-Mexico border town of Laredo. Del Carmen Castaños and Contreras’ version of Laredo is not like the one you’d see on the news. It’s all neon, bright colors and odd situations that you can only find yourself in when you’re eighteen and with your best friend.

Even from this short trailer, it’s clear that the connection between Del Carmen Castaños and Contreras is the type of deep-rooted friendship that is so specific to those teenage years. They are goofy, inseparable, and dreaming of a life beyond their small town. Who hasn’t spent many a teenage night dreaming of leaving the town where you grew up? It’s a requisite for growing up. Hummingbirds looks to be a love letter to this place that raised them that they are now ready to leave behind.

Estefania and Silvia stand in the desert watching the sun
Photo Courtesy of Extra Terrestrial Films

The energy of the trailer is infectious and the central friendship leaps off the screen. There is youthful excitement, urgency, and desperation on full display here in a way that is intimate and honest because it is the teenagers speaking for themselves. Based on the quotes from critics that are highlighted in the trailer, this energy is maintained through the feature documentary as well. This is the spirit of independent filmmaking on full display and it’s thrilling to see these young people telling their story in such a compelling fashion.

Hummingbirds had its world premiere at Berlinale 2023 where it won the Grand Prix Best Feature Film – Generation. From there, the film went on to play at True/False, Sheffield DocFest, NewFest, SFFILM, Hot Springs, and more. More than this is a story of friendship, it’s proof of the importance of relishing in the joy as a means of resiliency.

Directed by and starring Silvia Del Carmen Castaños & Estefanía “Beba” Contreras, Hummingbirds will run theatrically at DCTV’s Firehouse Cinema in New York, starting Friday, June 21, followed by a national broadcast premiere from POV on PBS Television Channel on Monday, July 1, 2024, at 10pm/9C (check local listings). It will be available to stream until September 29, 2024, on pbs.org and the PBS App.

Written by Tina Kakadelis

News Editor for Film Obsessive. Movie and pop culture writer. Seen a lot of movies, got a lot of opinions. Let's get Carey Mulligan her Oscar.

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