The TLA Releasing June 12, 2018 DVD release of the 2017 drama "Al Berto" is among the new generation of Millennial-centric period pieces that center tales set in game-changing eras around groups of 20-somethings. In this case, the titular writer/trust fund baby converts his family mansion in Sines, Portugal to a Bohemian-style commune where he and his friends create their art and practice freeish love in an era in which the nation is transitioning from a dictatorship.
The numerous accolades for this film include the Best International Award at the 2018 FilmOut San Diego festival.
The numerous relatable international and timeless themes in "Al Berto" greatly contribute to its appeal. The titular character represents a trifecta of ill will regarding providing the locals a focal point for their general frustration and adjustment to the new normal. He is an outwardly lazy rich kid, spends his days in idle pursuits that include writing poetry, and is gay. The object of his affection being fellow trust fund baby Joao does not help matters.
A member of the group coming from a modest background and having a mother who regularly reminds her of her roots provides an interesting perspective. The issue here is whether the poor girl down the hall is a member of the inner circle or merely either a mascot or a charity case.
Writer/director Vicente Alves de O does equally great jobs with the two related primary themes of "Al Berto." Our sensitive soul is simultaneously contending with coming to terms with the world actively fighting his effort to create a Utopia while also trying to have a first real relationship with a guy. Having limited people skills does not help matters.
The drama predictably amps up in unpredictably ways. This includes attacks on two fronts after some hope of lives of peace, love, and understanding. A great aspect of that hope for the future is the arrival of an adorable group that really help get the party started.
"Al Berto" further speaks to teens and 20-somethings from 2018 by showing that having passion and a large group of like-minded folks has a long tradition. It also reminds those of us with a few more years on us that we both used to have those ideals and act on them in a manner that illustrated that we did not care about the narrow-minded views of the adults who were the same age as our current one.