“Ekaj” Shows Why Friendship is Key to Survival.

​I have come to learn that there are three types of people that are born into this world. You can be born into a good family, a bad family, or born with none at all because you have no choice. What you are born into is not a choice. You do not decide if you get to have black or yellow skin, or what your sexual orientation is. You don’t get to choose if you are a girl or a boy. There is no decision where you get to be born in the world. But, you can decide your own objective in life.

Ekaj is the absolute epitome of that statement.

​The world for the titular character is his oyster. He is the best mix between a west coast oyster and east coast oyster; man and woman. Jake Mestre’s performance as Ekaj was spectacular. I never knew if he was a man or a woman at all despite having to remind myself that he was a confused young man. Honestly, I believed that his performance was genderless, which laid the foundation for the films character arch’s journey.

​This is an important story to remind us to be thankful for that we all have the opportunity to be born into this world as human beings rather than a blade of grass, an ant or dirt.

My personal logline for the film is:

“A transgender boy sells his body for pimps and drugs in order to survive on the streets of New York while his new found friendship reveals his true objective in life.”

Just when you can’t figure out if Ekaj is relatable, likable or interesting, you start to wonder why he is the way he is. When the big reveal happens in the film, it snaps you into Ekaj’s internal struggle, and you suddenly get hooked into the film due to the insight of the origin of his pain.


​A unique tattooed man named Mecca approaches Ekaj in Central Park and befriends him. The two build a bond, trying to survive the rigors of street life in the five boroughs of New York City.

Although I could not relate to these characters and their exteriors, I could relate to their interior struggles and emotions. This film brings a deeper understanding of the people that we neglect and forget.

If you are selling your body out on the streets, doing major hard street drugs makes that life bearable. Most people frown upon this and neglect it. Just for a second, how could you possibly relate to anything remotely close to this? You should not go around judging people that have to do this to survive. It is not a glorious life but people get trapped in this world every single day.

If you put on Ekaj’s shoes and walk in them during any ten-minute segment in the film, you can understand how hard it is to live life without guidance, community, family, and anyone you can trust. Life is hard because no one understands him.

But Mecca tries to understand and befriend him. The two create a civil platonic union between each other.


This film shows that everyone is capable of making friends with one another and that everyone needs friends to survive in this world.

There are people everywhere who suffer more than you and have problems greater than us. They are out there far away. Yes, they are.
You wouldn’t want to trade your problems with anyone else.

Sometimes the best of friends let each other live life the only way they know how. Friendship does not necessarily mean that you need to push to fix each other’s problems. Personally, I have a very good friend who has a major issue in their life. I don’t try to change it. Friends just need to be friends. Mecca and Ekaj have a quintessential friendship. The kind where two people meet just like in pre-school.

Remember, “The Zos Knows”.

David Zosel
The Cat of Cinema


Watch “Ekaj”.

This film is available to watch here on this link:
If you want to support my writing and for me to be able to create more content you can make a donation here: Venmo

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