La León
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La León

Argentina, 2006, 85 Minute Running Time
Genre/Subjects: Gay, Latino/a
Program: World Cinema
Language: Spanish

DIRECTOR: Santiago Otheguy

Set on a remote island in northeastern Argentina, this artfully shot debut feature simmers with sexual tension. Alvaro is a quiet man who repairs books and harvests reeds. Doubly isolated by his remote home and his homosexuality, he lives simply and doesn’t talk much, resorting to hook-ups with outsiders for release.
On the more garrulous side of the spectrum is Turu, who pilots the water taxi nicknamed La León because of the sound its engine makes chugging up the river. Turu fancies himself a community leader of sorts because his boat ferries the local population whenever they need to go to town. He’s also a loudmouth and a brute, ranting against missionaries, immigrants from Paraguay who’ve come to work, and Alvaro for being gay. Like most bigots, the captain has some unresolved issues and is alternately fascinated and repelled by the handsome man he transports.
To frame the story, Otheguy employs a wonderfully textured black-and-white cinematography with the jungle at center stage. Whether providing Alvaro with cover for a nighttime tryst or drowning out the noise of a more brutal encounter with its own natural clamor, the environment is a keen, impartial observer of the human drama unfolding in its midst. Placed among other recent noteworthy examples of Latin American art cinema including Los Muertos and A Thousand Clouds of Peace, La León heralds the arrival of a new cinematic talent. — ROD ARMSTRONG

co-presented by

International Latino Film Society


Eye Gotcha Optometric

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