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Undertow (2009)
"Contracorriente" (original title)

7.8
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 3,677 users   Metascore: 76/100
Reviews: 32 user | 61 critic | 13 from Metacritic.com

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.

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Cast

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

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Drama | Romance

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Release Date:

16 April 2010 (Colombia)  »

Also Known As:

Contra Corrente  »

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User Reviews

 
Undertow: Undeservedly Under The Radar
27 November 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

In early 2010, the first Peruvian film ever nominated for a Foreign Language Film Oscar -- "Milk Of Sorrow" (2009) -- got a U.S. 2-screen release that grossed all of 10K. Clearly UNDERTOW has no Peruvian coattails to ride in on. Despite Sundance kudos and buzz, it's already being ghettoized as a gay film. Yet it clearly is so much more. UNDERTOW doubly violates that genre's political correctness: the lead is both closeted and heroic while the captivating tale constantly eschews white/urbane predictability. We watch two more curve balls being thrown at us as well: next-world fantasy and 3rd world folklore. So this is definitely not "'Brokeback Mountain' meets 'Ghost'" as several critics have written it off in facile reviewer shorthand. But UNDERTOW may well have the power to connect with portions of the mainstream audiences for both of those films -- via word of mouth, curiosity-building press and guerrilla marketing. Our unexpected attraction to a real-life subsistence-poor fishing village and its close-knit, tradition-bound "primitive" citizens are seamlessly woven into the film's cast as well as fabric. Breath-taking cinematography, a script illuminating characters rather than telescoping plot, understated yet powerful performances and a hypnotic world music soundtrack take UNDERTOW far beyond the shorelines of dry-docked movie-making. Many high-concept films have dealt with men forced to choose between family and lovers. Others have pitted unlikely heroes against the mores of society. Nor is a quest to carry out the final wishes of the dearly departed at all innovative. But UNDERTOW combines these themes in a way no writer- director has done before. First-timer Javier Fuentes-León does so with fearless honesty and sublime-on-a-shoestring craft. No surprise then that it's this year's Foreign Language entry from Peru.


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