Raising Victor Vargas
Director: Peter Sollett
USA / 2002 / 88 min
Live Screening followed by a discussion with the director and cast members Victor Rasuk and Judy Marte moderated by Alfreda’s Cinema programmer Melissa Lyde.
Writer/director Peter Sollett immortalized Victor (Rasuk) and Judy (Marte) when he paired them in his teen romance and feature debut, Raising Victor Vargas, which also features breakout performances by Melonie Diaz, Altagracia Guzman, and Silvestre Rasuk. Lean Romeo wannabe Victor is bent on impressing the reluctant and beautiful Judy, while simultaneously thwarting rumors that he’s sleeping with “Fat Donna.” Young love blossoms all around in this NY darling, which now provides a time capsule to when music roared from city streets and all that mattered in the world was getting with the prettiest girl on the block. Nearly 20 years later after the film’s release, Alfreda’s Cinema, programmed by Melissa Lyde, reunites the cast and director to remember how summers in the city used to be before COVID-19 and the onslaught of gentrification in Manhattan’s predominantly Dominican Lower East Side neighborhood.