I Don't Want to Go Back Alone

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I Don't Want to Go Back Alone
I Don't Want to Go Back Alone.jpg
Directed byDaniel Ribeiro
Produced by
  • Diana Almeida
  • Daniel Ribeiro
Written byDaniel Ribeiro
Music by
  • Juliano Polimeno
  • Tatá Aeroplano
CinematographyPierre de Kerchove
Edited byCristian Chinen
Lacuna Films
Release date
  • July 18, 2010 (2010-07-18) (Paulínia Film Festival)
Running time
17 minutes
BudgetBRL 80,000
Giovana, Leonardo and Gabriel in Eu Não Quero Voltar Sozinho

I Don't Want to Go Back Alone (Portuguese: Eu Não Quero Voltar Sozinho) is a 2010 Brazilian short film directed by Daniel Ribeiro. The short won the 2011 Iris Prize.

It was later expanded into Ribeiro's 2014 feature film The Way He Looks.


Leonardo "Leo" is a 15-year-old blind high school student with his one friend in class, Giovana, sitting next to him. Seated behind Leonardo is the new student Gabriel. After class Giovana invites Gabriel to walk home with herself and Leonardo; she customarily links arms with him for support even though his house is further from the school than hers. Later Giovana teases Leonardo about never confiding in her about romance and suggests he receive math tutoring from Gabriel.

Over time the three grow closer, walking home and playing games together. Leonardo becomes more self-conscious about appearance, asking questions about what he and Gabriel look like. Gabriel volunteers to take over escorting Leonardo so Giovana doesn't have to backtrack, though she possessively says that's not necessary. However, Leo happily agrees. A school project requires same-sex pairs, leading Leonardo to work with Gabriel instead of Giovana. During a more serious conversation about his blindness, Gabriel points out Giovana's attraction to Leonardo, but Leonardo says he does not reciprocate. After school one day, Leo links arms with Gabriel rather than Giovana, much to Gabriel's surprise and Giovana's chagrin.

When they arrive at his house, Leonardo changes shirts in front of Gabriel, who is stunned before removing his own sweatshirt. Gabriel asks Leonardo where the bathroom is to brush his teeth, but Gabriel is standing in the doorway and sees Leonardo smelling his sweatshirt. However he does not mention this to Leo. The next day in class, Gabriel tells Leonardo he left his sweatshirt at Leonardo's house but must leave school early for a dentist's appointment, and so will collect it the next day. After the other students have left, Leonardo admits to Giovana he is in love with Gabriel.

Doubtful about the homosexual romance - and hurt because she has feelings for Leo as Gabriel suspected - Giovana does not provide a positive response before a sudden phone call summons her to her grandmother's birthday, leaving Leonardo to walk home alone with a white cane. At home, when he hears someone come into his room, he chastises Giovana for leaving him and expresses his doubts about confessing his love for Gabriel. However, the visitor is actually Gabriel himself, who smiles to himself at this unintended confession before silently kissing him on the lips, leaving with his sweatshirt. Later, Giovana arrives while apologizing for taking so long. Leonardo is left confused and, after feeling around his room, discovers the sweatshirt is gone. He smiles at the realization that Gabriel was the one who kissed him.


Awards and accolades[edit]

Film Festival Category Year Outcome
Outfest[1] Outstanding Dramatic Short Film 2011 Won
Iris Prize Festival[2] Iris Prize 2011 Won
Cork Film Festival[3] OutLook Award for Best LGBT Short Film 2011 Won
Reel Affirmations[4] Best Male Short 2011 Won

Feature film[edit]

In December 2012, the film's official Twitter announced that a feature film based on the short film, titled "Todas as Coisas mais Simples", which translates to "All of the Simplest Things", was in production, after over two years of fundraising and preparation of the script. Filming began and completed in early 2013. The film premiered in 2014.[5]

On September 2013, director Daniel Ribeiro, announced the final title would be "Hoje Eu Quero Voltar Sozinho", which translates to "Today I Want to Go Back Alone". Ribeiro reported, "Throughout the development of the movie a new plot element arose: Leonardo's independence. It's a naturally common theme in any teen's life, but specially in Leonardo's as, being blind, he's often overprotected by those around him, and he wants to do some things on his own, without depending on others. Therefore, the original title was no longer valid, after all "going back alone" became one of the main character's objectives."

The official English title of the film is "The Way He Looks".


  1. ^ OUTFEST 2011 AWARDS Archived 2011-06-11 at Archive.today Accessed 2012-06-06.
  2. ^ "Iris Prize 2011 Winners". Iris Prize. Archived from the original on 4 October 2013. Retrieved 11 February 2012.
  3. ^ "Short Film Awards 2011". Cork Film Festival. Archived from the original on 23 February 2012. Retrieved 19 February 2012.
  4. ^ Shulman, Randy. "Reel Affirmations 20: And the Winning Films Are -- ." Metro Weekly. October 24, 2011. Archived May 3, 2012, at the Wayback Machine Accessed 2012-03-31.
  5. ^ Official Twitter post on feature movie 2013-01-28.

External links[edit]