No Dress Code Required, a documentary by filmmaker Cristina Herrera Borquez, follows two gay men and their fight for marriage equality in their home in Baja California, Mexico.
Victor and Fernando, who run a beauty salon, spend their days beautifying Mexicali socialites and preparing them to get married. The men, popular in their community, decide to get married, and although marriage equality is technically the law of the land in Mexico, in Mexicali they are prevented at every turn by local officials, and public opinion. Cristina Herrera Borquez, a Mexican filmmaker who was also a customer of Fernando’s, heard about the men’s marriage plans. She says, “They were going to be the first couple in Baja California to attempt this, so I knew it had to be filmed.”
The film, which won best documentary at Palm Springs International Film Festival, Best Mexican documentary at Guanajuato Film Festival, and is the official selection of Human Rights Watch Film Festival 2017 and Outfits 2017, is currently showing in New York at Village East Cinemas, and is slated for national release this month.
Herquez, who produced the film with no outside funding, made this statement: “Contemporary times in Mexico are being tested. It questions our ability as a society to prove, if in fact, it is truly democratic; if, indeed, we can enforce equal rights established by the Constitution. At this crossroad we find the members of the LGBTQ community who want full recognition of their civil rights, and civil society where sexual differences are still thought as a sin or pathology. In its most basic elements, this is a very simple story: it is a love story. It’s the story of a couple who wants to love each other, and have the legal rights granted to any married heterosexual couple; they want to confront us and they demand from us the recognition of their love, and our acceptance to the fact that it is legitimate to love each other.”