Julián Hernández's beautiful "Broken Sky" is that increasing rarity, a film that is fully realized visually. Keeping dialogue at a minimum, Hernández and inspired cinematographer Alejandro Cantú create a constant interplay between light and shadow, movement and stillness, dramatic spaces of architectural grandeur and intimate enclosures to evoke the ever-shifting emotions of an all-consuming first love.
Gerardo (Miguel Ángel Hoppe) zeroes in on Jonas (Fernando Arroyo) sitting near the top of an open-air staircase. The camera swirls 360 degrees around Gerardo to convey Jonas' effect on him. Gerardo puts his hand on Jonas' shoulder and in no time they are caught up in a heady romance. Both are students at the University of Mexico, an international landmark of superb Midcentury Modern design. Gerardo has been the pursuer, yet Jonas freely reciprocates Gerardo's passion. But the intensity of Jonas' feelings ultimately doesn't match that of Gerardo, who it turns out has an admirer in Sergio (Alejandro Rojo).
The situation is scarcely unusual, but Hernández's approach makes all the difference, trusting the camera to reveal the ebb and flow of emotions that sweep over all three men. Amusingly, as is the case with countless more conventional campus movies, the young men are not overburdened with homework, but "Broken Sky" is an altogether deeply affecting film from the maker of the celebrated "A Thousand Clouds of Peace."