7.8/10
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39 user 63 critic

Undertow (2009)

Contracorriente (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama, Fantasy, Romance | 16 April 2010 (Colombia)
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An unusual ghost story set on the Peruvian seaside; a married fisherman struggles to reconcile his devotion to his male lover within his town's rigid traditions.
13 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Cristian Mercado ... Miguel
Tatiana Astengo Tatiana Astengo ... Mariela
Manolo Cardona ... Santiago
Attilia Boschetti Attilia Boschetti ... Sra. La Rosa
José Chacaltana José Chacaltana ... Héctor
Maria Edelmira Palomino Maria Edelmira Palomino ... Doña Flor
Humberto Cavero Humberto Cavero ... Padre Juan (as Julio Humberto Cavero)
Haydeé Cáceres Haydeé Cáceres ... Trinidad
Emilram Cossío Emilram Cossío ... Pato
Cindy Díaz Cindy Díaz ... Isaura
Juan Pablo Olivos Juan Pablo Olivos ... Tano
Christian Fernandez Christian Fernandez ... Jacinto
Mónica Rossi Mónica Rossi ... Ana
Germán González Germán González ... Dr. Fernandez
Liliana Alegría Liliana Alegría ... Carlota (as Liliana Alegria Saavedra)
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Storyline

An unusual ghost story set on the Peruvian seaside; a married fisherman struggles to reconcile his devotion to his male lover within his town's rigid traditions.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Fantasy | Romance

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site | See more »

Country:

Peru | Colombia | France | Germany

Language:

Spanish

Release Date:

16 April 2010 (Colombia) See more »

Also Known As:

Contra Corrente See more »

Filming Locations:

Cabo Blanco, Peru See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$6,749, 19 September 2010

Gross USA:

$108,620

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$501,256
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color (Super 16mm)| Color
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Although both main characters are Peruvian, the actors who play them are not. Cristian Mercado (the Fisherman) is Bolivian and Manolo Cardona (the Photographer) is Colombian. See more »

Quotes

Miguel: I can't love you. It's not right.
See more »

Connections

Features Direito de Amar (1987) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A beautiful, unique and creative film, and one of the most rewarding experiences I've had at a feature film in a long time!
23 June 2010 | by russellldSee all my reviews

One of the best new films exploring gay male identity, love and relationships, and likely will be a worthy addition to many personal "favorite gay films" lists, although the fact that the film is set in a town, and to some extent a culture, where, at least for a large part of the story, many in the town have not yet evolved in their views of LGBT people and issues, created some (ultimate unnecessary) anxiety for me early in the film, and at parts throughout, as to whether the film would be a throwback to older, more stereotyped and limited representations and stories of gay life, although those anxieties were not only relieved by the end of the film, but, as I suggested, the film is an extremely valuable addition to the new wave of gay cinema.

The writer, director, casting director and cast, cinematographer, set designer and other members of the film-making team also do a great job exploring rural, small town life, with its traditions (religious and otherwise...) superstitions, and class differences, and the interplay among the individuals, families and community who inhabit the town, along with the welcome (or rejection...) given to a stranger who comes there, and who many perceive as a threat to the social fabric of the town, and the support (or lack of it...) the townspeople and characters show to each other, ultimately examining the struggle between bigotry and ignorance, on the one hand, and the struggle to overcome that bigotry and ignorance, and replace it with support, respect and love on the other. Most of the townspeople are not financially well-off, but make just enough to get by, working in occupations connected to fishing and the sea, and the way they relate, individually and as a community, to each other (and to themselves, in regard to what is the true definition of a man, of an individual's self-respect) in light of a newcomer who is more financially well-off, and his artistic and suspected sexual/relationship interests, are additional themes of the film, which play out so well in a beautiful, interesting and captivating way, often evoking strong emotions, and at times offering an inspiring catharsis (and perhaps a few tears, in reaction to some sadness, and much beauty.)

And there are many other highlights of the film beyond all that, including the amazingly beautiful setting, in a rural, seaside Peruvian village, the cinematography, musical score, performances, plot twists and turns, the mix of fantasy and reality (and moments where it's unclear to what extent fantasy exists as an aspect of the story's reality.) This is a truly unique and creative film, and one of the most rewarding experiences I've had at a feature film in a long time.


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