Goyo (2024): Is the Netflix Movie Based on True Events?

Directed by Marcos Carnevale, ‘Goyo’ introduces us to the titular museum guide as he lives his life day by structured day in the vibrant city of Buenos Aires. Having Asperger’s, Goyo finds socializing difficult and is fascinated by the work of Vincent van Gogh. His life is turned upside down when he begins to fall in love with the museum’s new security guard, Eva, who becomes fond of him but is held back by romantic tragedy in her past. Together, the two embark on a journey of acceptance and self-discovery, becoming comfortable with being themselves around each other. The Netflix Spanish-language romantic film narrates a heartwarming story of affirmation and delves into the complexities of neurodivergence.

Goyo is a Tale That Explores Sensitivity and Inclusion in Love

The unique story of ‘Goyo’ comes from the mind of Marcos Carnevale, who is both the writer and director of the film. While the movie may be fictional, it is written with input from experts and a desire to represent people on the spectrum authentically. Carnevale seeks to tell a story that highlights more than differences and focuses on the inclusion and diversity that relationships can reflect. Both characters are set in their ways and heading down a seemingly lonely path, but find a budding tenderness when they are together. Goyo’s fixations and Eve’s apprehensions both give way to a new approach to love.

“The unconventional is the common denominator in all my films,” explained Carnevale in an interview. “It is my look at life brought to the cinema, to illuminate what – I believe – we are not seeing, even though it is visible. In Goyo, in particular, I chose the theme of autism because it is the most objective and unprejudiced view that I know. Goyo is a person with Asperger’s who sees you and accepts you as you are, without a filter, honestly.” When it came to depicting Goyo as being on the spectrum, the filmmaker took substantial steps to write him in a way that reflects the reality of people with Asperger’s.

Asperger’s Syndrome is considered a form of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) with higher functioning. It is commonly characterized by repetitive behavioral patterns, difficulty in relating to others socially, and a focused range of interests. We can observe many of the characteristics of someone with Asperger’s in Goyo, such as being highly organized, not too social, and intensely interested in Van Gogh and art. However, it is important to note that Asperger’s is not considered a stand-alone diagnosis and has been merged with ASD.

Goyo Was Informed by NGOs Dealing with ASD

When it came to portraying the complexities of ASD on film, Carnevale took the help, advice, and endorsement of various groups and foundations that are concerned with individuals on the spectrum. These included the Argentine Sports Federation for people with intellectual disabilities, Asociación Liga Asperger 7, Panaacea, and Fundación Discar. Among these foundations, largely based in Buenos Aires, Fundación Discar is a collection of professionals and artists who work with young people with intellectual disabilities to integrate them into Argentine society. Regarding their work on the film, the organization took to Instagram and wrote, “DISCAR Foundation provided advice on the topic, and in order to continue with our commitment to continue promoting inclusion, the presence of alumni of the foundation can be seen in some of the scenes.”

Carnevale is known to broach such diverse and underrepresented topics in his films with empathy and care. His third directorial, ‘Elsa and Fred,’ released in 2005, follows an elderly couple deciding to enjoy the little time they had left to the fullest, discovering a new worldview through novel recklessness. His 2013 film, ‘Lion’s Heart,’ comically explores romance and its difficulties from the perspective of a very short person. The filmmaker’s 2016 movie, ‘Inseparables,’ revolves around a wealthy businessman who becomes quadriplegic due to an accident. When it comes to selecting a caretaker, he rejects professionals in favor of hiring his gardener, starting an unexpected and wholesome journey of companionship.

‘Goyo’ highlights the transformative power of unconditional acceptance, understanding, and love in forming bonds. Through Carnevale’s sensitive lens, it showcases the profound impact of embracing differences and finding common ground, emphasizing the importance of inclusion and the diverse forms love can take. Despite being a fictional story, Netflix’s film is geared towards an authentic depiction of ASD, which was achieved with the help of specialized organizations that work to assist such individuals in Argentinian society.

Read More: Goyo: All Locations Where the Netflix Movie Was Filmed