A dark comedy, “Perfume de Gardenias” (“Perfume of Gardenias”) tells the story of Isabel, an elderly woman living in a middle-class neighborhood in Puerto Rico. She has just become a widow after having cared for her husband until his last breath. But her recent loss becomes a blessing when she crafts a beautiful, custom-made funeral for him that catches the attention of Toña, a pious but domineering woman who involves herself in local funerals. Toña is the self-appointed leader of a coterie of elderly church ladies, and she enlists Isabel to put her unusual talents to good use and design custom, idiosyncratic funerals for her ailing neighbors. Isabel agrees to perform this strange line of work, and finds renewed purpose in her own life. Along the way, however, Isabel is forced to question her own beliefs, as well as her relationship with both life and death.
Feature (103mins) Narrative | Puerto Rico
Gisela Rosario Ramos is Macha Colón, an undisciplined puertorrican artist based in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Her award-winning short documentary, “El Hijo de Ruby”, has been shown in international festivals. She’s also a cultural events producer and worked as Artistic and Programming Director at Casa de Cultura Ruth Hernández. She’s an Art Matters Foundation and NALAC grantee, and in 2020, she received the William Greaves Fund from Firelight Media. She’s a 2021 United States Artist Fellow and is part of the Puerto Rican Artist Initiative from Northwestern University for the next two years. “Perfume de Gardenias” is her first feature film.