Films & Schedules

  • Shakespeare and Victor Hugo's Intimacies
    Intimidades de Shakespeare y Víctor Hugo

  • Yulene Olaizola

80 minutes

Production Company:
Centro de Capacitación Cinematográfica
Angeles Castro Gurría
Written By:
Yulene Olaizola
Production Designer:
Yulene Olaizola
Yulene Olaizola, Rubén Imaz
Yulene Olaizola
Pablo Fernandez
Emiliano Motta, Emiliano Gonzalez de León
Principal Cast: Rosa Elena Carbajal, Florencia Vega Moctezuma

Wednesday September 1008:45PM VARSITY 2 Best Bet Add Film to MyTIFF Filmlist
Friday September 1202:45PM VARSITY 7 Add Film to MyTIFF Filmlist

Situated at the intersection of Shakespeare and Victor Hugo Streets in Mexico City is Rosa Elena Carbajal's lodging house. First-time feature filmmaker Yulene Olaizola revisits this familiar place, seeking a closeness to her past and to her grandmother Rosa Elena Carbajal, and delving into the murky history of one of the former lodgers. Jorge Riosse's presence is still felt and his story still disputed despite the fifteen years that have passed since his death.

Rosa Elena Carbajal and Jorge Riosse became fast friends when he first arrived at the house. His intelligence, artistic talent and ability to make Rosa laugh helped create a strong bond that few would understand. But Riosse was also a deeply troubled man, ashamed of his homosexuality and burdened with schizophrenia. Nobody knew anything about his past or his family. He lived a secret life, hiding women's clothes and makeup in his room and changing his last name depending on who he was speaking to. At home, however, Riosse was extremely amiable. Florencia Vega Moctezuma, the housekeeper at the lodging house, still lights a candle every year in remembrance of his death.

During the period coinciding with the time that Riosse lived at the boarding house until his death in 1993, at least thirteen women fell victim to a mysterious serial killer in different hotels in a popular Mexico City area. Rosa Elena Carbajal fears that Riosse's perplexing story may be related to those crimes, but the truth may never be known.

Wonderfully constructed, Olaizola's carefully articulated documentary introduces new information with perfect timing, crafting a story that reaches far beyond a simple anecdote. What makes the film so spectacular, however, is Rosa Elena Carbajal, a grandmother full of life and free of pretensions whose ability to see art in the world allows her to communicate the intimacies of Shakespeare and Victor Hugo.

Diana Sanchez

Yulene Olaizola was born in Mexico City and attended the Centro de Capacitación Cinematográfica. Her short films are Fat Old Sun (03), American Coffee (04) and I'll Make You Sleep (06). Shakespeare and Victor Hugo's Intimacies (08) is her first feature documentary.

Cadillac People's Choice Award