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Aristotle & Dante Director Aitch Alberto Wants To Crush Stereotypes

'Aristotle & Dante' Director Aitch Alberto Wants To Crush Stereotypes

Reese Gonzales and Max Pelayo
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The trans director wants the love story in Aristotle and Dante to be “relatable across the board.”


Written and directed by trans filmmaker Aitch Alberto, Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe is a new LGBTQ+ coming-of-age movie based on the 2012 novel by Benjamin Alire Sáenz.

The film centers around two Mexican-American boys, Aristotle Mendoza (played by Max Pelayo) and Dante Quintana (played by Reese Gonzales), who find a connection between them. The story is set in El Paso, Texas in 1987.

During an interview with People, Alberto talked about tackling this live-action adaptation of Aristotle and Dante through a “lens that feels gentle, specifically when it comes to Latinx stories in a way we haven’t seen before.”

“Everyone has such an individual experience to the story, which is such a compliment because it means it is universal,” Alberto noted. “People who I don’t think realized they would connect with an aspect of this. It’s a reflection of the painful journey of self-discovery, of growing up, which I think is relatable across the board.”

Lin-Manuel Miranda (Hamilton, In the Heights) is a producer behind the Aristotle and Dante film, which also features actors like Kevin Alejandro, Eva Longoria, Eugenio Derbez, Marlene Forte, Isabella Gomez, and Veronica Falcón in the cast.

Alberto later told the publication, “I wanted to make this because it so plays against the tropes we’ve seen and the stereotypes we’ve seen. I just refuse to play into that. That’s not the work that I want to put out in the world.”

Specifically, when tackling subjects like violent homophobia, Alberto explained that she doesn’t want the movie to “perpetuate trauma porn in a way that we’ve seen redundantly over and over again.”

We couldn’t be more excited about this movie!

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe is now in theaters.

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