Winner of the Golden Lion Best Film in Venice, “Desde Allà” is a provocative and scandalous study on secret and forbidden desires and a gritty observation on the sickening manipulations of capitalism over the impoverished.
Chilean actor Alfredo Castro gives a superb performance as Armando, a lonely aging man, wandering the streets of Caracas in search of young boys to satisfy his sexual fantasies. Castro has been building a brilliant career, conceiving memorable characters along the way, such as “Tony Manero” and this year’s Oscar contender “The Club”, and with this complex role he proves his fearless emotional ability, fully exploring the depths of human instincts and uneasiness demonstrated in the character.
As he walks the streets of Caracas, persuading boys to consummate intimate activities in exchange for a large amount of money, he finds himself in a harsh situation, when one of these vulnerably famished boys severely beats him. The narrative then splits in separate ways, following the troubled young boy’s engagements into brutal violence, sexual encounters with his girl, as part of the harms coming from the slums, and observing how Armando reacted to the consequences of his attack; in fact, he turns even more attracted to the assailant and decides looking for him. The unexpected meeting promptly sets a shaping-process friendship that will become an even more complicated relationship based on mutual dependence, seduction, betrayal, and risky sentimental revelations. Both men share similar aspirations and practices- they disclose traumas of their childhood such as the turbulence related to their parents, as well as they work with the same shaping tools, Armando is a dental prostheses restorer and Elder (Luis Silva) is a car fixer. This element appears as a metaphor conducting and shaping their most needed desires. Director Lorenzo Vigas conceived a haunting, atmospheric thriller developed with a brilliant aesthetic of continuous endangerment, as well as his precise coordination with over-the-top actors generating tremendously intense performances.
And while the story uses the strongly daring and seductive homoeroticism to punctuate the anxiety in the narrative, the director also portraits aspects of the lack of perspectives on the young generation wandering on emptiness and conflicts through the impoverishment in South America.
“FROM AFAR” A Strand Releasing. Opens Wednesday, June 8th at Film Forum, New York City.
Filmmaker Lorenzo Vigas in attendance for special Q&A’s on Wednesday, June 8th @7pm. Friday, June 10th @7pm and Saturday, June 11th @4:40pm
Tickets and details: www.filmforum.org