Queer film can be hit or miss (and mostly miss, it seems) but I seem to have the best luck if a) I go foreign and b) I opt for SIFF selections over SLGFF. It’s a formula that certainly worked for Undertow, though circumstances outside the movie did everything they could to ruin it.
I really wish it had been presented on film. I don’t know how it was shot, but I am just about over digital presentations. They seem to add a plethora of new ways to fuck up the projection, and it’s not like certain venues *cough*theEgyptian*cough* needed any help in that regard as it was. We were given comp tickets for another screening, which is as it should be, but it was totally unfair to this beautiful, romantic film that it stopped altogether, that it had color issues (trust me, these characters were not supposed to be green), that the sound went out for what seemed like eternity (thank god it was subtitled), and that the version that finally worked included a goddamned *watermark*.
As for the film itself, it’s that rarest of beasts, a fresh coming-out story. Set in a Peruvian fishing village, it’s also part ghost story. Miguel, married & soon-to-be a father, has also been secretly involved with village outsider Santiago. When Santiago dies accidentally, Miguel learns it is much easier to be in a relationship with a man when no one else can see him.
It’s a concept that could go either way, but the characters all had clear emotional cores, and so it was beautiful and heartwrenching. Also, I particularly appreciated the sympathetic & honest portrayal of his wife. Their relationship had its own validity, which is often not the case in this sort of film.