To be plagued by pimples during the awkward identity crisis that is adolescence is a cruel irony at best. At thirteen, young Rafa Bregman, having just celebrated his bar mitzvah, is poised precariously on the edge of youth’s clumsy innocence and the expectations of now being a man—namely, the expectation of a young man’s “first time.” Only it isn’t sex that is a mystery for Rafa, who, with the help of his older brother, is initiated into that realm by the attractive family housekeeper, Angélica. Instead Rafa searches among the females in his life for his very first kiss. He dreams of a kiss with his classmate Nicole, desperately tries to make a connection with Angélica, visits a brothel and has a rather clever encounter with a fur rug and an adult magazine, all in an attempt to quiet the raging hormones of his burgeoning sexuality. Meanwhile, his family structure is shifting, his friends are changing and his acne is flaring out of control. How does a young man balance the upheaval of body and life all at once? Award-winning short-film director Federico Veiroj’s debut feature film Acne is a poignant and charmingly melancholic look back at the tiny battles of youth.
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