No Dress Code Required (Etiqueta no rigurosa) (NR)
Cristina Herrera Borquez's elegant documentary, No Dress Code Required, is a masterful, layered story of commissar-crossed lovers. Mexico's high court declared the denial of the marriage licenses to same-sex couples unconstitutional in 2010; the couple could have married in Mexico City, where licenses are more easily obtained, but they wanted to pave the way for gay marriage at home. Like many municipalities that have balked, their hometown, Mexicali, resorts to a Kafkaesque series of bureaucratic technicalities to skirt the ruling.
The film is a grueling legal and emotional saga. Borquez deftly weaves details of the legal case with their struggles as boys and young men, each from poor families surviving within Mexico's Catholic, machismo culture. "You might see this fight as something happening from June until today, but that's not true -- that's not true," Victor insists. "It is a fight that I've fought since I knew I was gay, since that day a fight with life began."
Victor and Fernando are strikingly photogenic, and as a couple they are luminous. Fernando doesn't quite fulfill his childhood dream of throwing a bouquet at his wedding: After months and months of delay, the nuptials are slapdash -- and supremely joyful.