Kiss of the Spider Woman (1985)
Luis Molina and Valentin Arregui are cell mates in a South American prison. Luis, a trans individual, is found guilty of immoral behavior and Valentin is a political prisoner. To escape reality Luis invents romantic movies, while Valentin tries to keep his mind on the situation he's in. During the time they spend together, the two men come to understand and respect one another.- Written by Leon Wolters <wolters@strw.LeidenUniv.nl>
Valentin Arregui and Luis Molina are unlikely cell mates in a Latin American prison. Valentin, a journalist, is a political prisoner who was working for a leftist anti-government revolutionary group. While in prison, he is frequently tortured in order to cough up information on those with whom he is working. That includes the new prisoner in the cell across the block from his. Valentin has yet to provide the authorities with any useful information. Molina, a stereotypically gay window dresser, is imprisoned on morals charges: having homosexual sex with a minor. He states that he has no political affiliations. To pass the time, Molina recounts aloud story-lines from his favorite movies, usually those of a romantic nature. The current movie of which he is telling is a wartime romantic thriller, which in reality is a World War II Nazi propaganda film, about which he doesn't care as he focuses on the romance part of the story. Because of the reason for his imprisonment, Valentin doesn't much like that Molina is telling a story produced by a repressive regime, but gets caught up in Molina's story-telling regardless. The unlikely cell mates form an equally unlikely friendship based on their mutual support for each other. Molina later admits that he has fallen in love with Valentin. What Valentin does not know is that Molina has been co-opted by the prison warden and the secret police to befriend Valentin so that he can get information on and report back to them about the leftist group with which Valentin is working. Molina's reward is early parole. The question becomes on whose side is Molina really supporting if either.- Written by Huggo
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