POV: Memories of a Penitent Heart

About This Episode


Like many gay men in the 1980s, Miguel moved to New York City in search of a life out of the closet. Yet in the midst of the AIDS crisis, his devout Catholic mother pressured him to repent for his homosexuality on his deathbed. Twenty-five years later, his niece Cecilia Aldarondo breaks the silence surrounding her uncle's death, sifting through conflicting memories of a man she never really knew. She locates Miguel's estranged partner and begins to unlock long-dormant family secrets.

Delving into her family's trove of secrets, Aldarondo's Memories of a Penitent Heart examines the light and dark sides of faith and how we fight over the memories of those we love. The film is a brave and honest exhumation of buried resentments that ultimately reveals how reflections on grief, betrayal and love bring us closer to reconciliation.