Passions Just Like Mine
In a word: awesome. DIY filmmaker Kerri Koch (of the riot grrrl doc Don't Need You) interviews a score of Los Angeles' Latino Morrissey fans--a veritable army, it turns out--and, in the process, orbits that peculiar, powerful connection that an artist can have with his or her fans. Passions starts from some simple observations--Morrissey now lives in L.A., L.A. is predominantly Hispanic, and a large number of young Hispanics have become Morrissey/Smiths fans--and, through interviews, tries to figure out why. Koch doesn't obtain a single answer, if only because each respondent has a personal relationship to Morrissey's music--and it is the music that's connecting with them, a connection that powers these fans' interest in Morrissey's lyrics, life, and ideas. They take Morrissey very seriously, recognizing in his songs their own feelings of alienation, bittersweet hope, and wistful resignation in navigating a world that doesn't always feel welcoming. And, while, yes, seeing a tattoo-covered young Hispanic man talk about getting his boss' permission to come into work late so that he can try to see Morrissey leaving a radio station interview is a loving portrait of sincere fandom, it's the cultural translations--such as Morrissey tribute act Sweet and Tender Hooligans Spanish version of "Lost" ("Perdido")--that testify to this movie's greatest strength: showing how art moves across nationalities, borders, and languages with its emotional impact intact.