Undertow  {Contracorriente}
watch Undertow trailer


Peru, 2010, 100 Minute Running Time
Genre/Subjects: Bisexual, Drama, Gay, Latino/a
Programs: Centerpiece, South America's New Queer Cinema
Language: Spanish

DIRECTOR: Javier Fuentes-León

Miguel and Mariela are a happily married couple, well-respected in their small seaside fishing village and looking forward to the imminent arrival of their first child. Miguel genuinely adores his devoted wife, yet also carries on a clandestine affair with handsome drifter Santiago, a painter of sensual nudes who is euphemistically referred to as “Prince Charming” by the village gossips. Santiago yearns to celebrate his love openly, while Miguel insists on secrecy for fear of jeopardizing his domestic bliss.

As the story takes an otherworldly turn, rumors force Mariela to question her husband’s sexuality, and Miguel must accept his dual nature in order to refute Santiago’s angry claim that “There are thousands of ways of being a man, and you are none of them.”

Stunning views of Peru’s Cabo Blanco coast provide an appropriately stormy backdrop to the tempestuous emotions of the three protagonists. As its ominous title suggests, Undertow dives far below the seemingly placid surface of self-identity and family ties, churning up waves of passion — and a fateful accident — that overwhelm the film’s bisexual love triangle.

This Sundance award-winner enchants with unforgettable seascapes, and director Javier Fuentes-León eschews melodrama to present a transcendent romance in his remarkably assured feature debut. With moving performances by some of Latin America’s star actors, Undertow makes it easy to get swept away. — STEVEN JENKINS

Text Voting Code: F130


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