SHORT SYNOPSIS:
 
Sex, politics and American culture are mixed into a combustible combination in Now & Later. Angela (Shari Solanis) is an illegal Latina immigrant living in Los Angeles who stumbles across Bill (James Wortham), a disgraced banker on the run. She takes him in. Through passionate sex, soul-searching conversations ranging from politics to philosophy, and other worldly pleasures, Angela introduces Bill to another worldview. As their affair heats up, the course of Bill's life begins to take an abrupt and unexpected turn.

The film was conceived by the director in reaction to American's penchant for violence in our culture and our puritanical censoring of anything involving sex. Familiar with philosopher Wilhelm Reich's notion that a sexually repressed society turns into a violent one, Diaz makes an unabashedly sexual yet cerebral film that challenges the perception that sex in media is harmful.
 
LONG SYNOPSIS:
 

Bill was a golden boy of the banking industry. Living the good life in Los Angeles, he had a nice house, a good job, and a loving wife. Then he got greedy, lost everything, and was sentenced to an eight-year prison term. Instead of giving up his freedom, he jumps bail. While in hiding, his former driver Luis finds him and offers to get him out of the country. But Bill must hole up for a few days more before the truck will leave. Luis brings Bill to Eddie's, a cheap Central American dive in downtown LA. There, Bill meets Angela, a free spirited Latina.

Bill has been on the run for weeks; he's depressed and suicidal. Angela offers to take him in when she discovers he has nowhere to go.

Bill had always succeeded when he focused on the future, but finds himself at loose ends with the present. He was always concerned with the next big sale, buying a bigger house, a bigger car. He never learned to stop and enjoy the moment. His ambition and his desire for more power and money is what led him to overextending his reach at the bank and ultimately to a prison sentence.

Angela, on the other hand, lives in the now. She doesn't worry about tomorrow she'll deal with that when it happens. She believes in living life to the fullest and experiencing everything as deeply and as fully as possible.

In her apartment, a "living scrapbook," Angela exposes Bill to a whole new way of thinking. She explains how his actions at the bank as well as those of his government have far reaching consequences for other people in the world, something he'd never considered. She begins to show him how to live in the now and to really feel things, not just breeze through life focused on what will happen in the future.

Angela points out to Bill that his problems were caused by the American way of life and American culture. For Angela, who migrated to the States from Nicaragua, a country that had been devastated by civil war, everything she has or was given is deeply appreciated. As a child, she had very little: the Contras had killed her parents and her grandmother raised her. For Angela, the American way of life always running, running after more money to buy more things and paying more bills seemed so disconnected from living. She tells Bill that, "rather than enjoying what you had, you killed yourself for the future."

For Angela, sex is another way to live in the now. Bill, raised in a traditional family where desires were hidden, had sex with his wife once a week. Angela, on the other hand, believes there is no reason not to find pleasure wherever she can. She wants to enjoy life as much as possible, and finds the greatest physical joy in life is through uninhibited sex. She pushes Bill's sexual boundaries to open his mind to new experiences, and to focus on the now, not the future.

When her lover, Diego, returns unexpectedly from a trip, he interrupts Angela and Bill's nascent love story.

Through Angela, Bill is forced to look at his mindset and his old way of life. He comes to terms with the excess of his American lifestyle and makes the connection between wealth and global policies. After confronting his ex-wife, and strengthened through Angela's generous spirit, he is able to leave his country and find a new life.

 


 
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