Don't Tell Anyone (1998) Poster

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No se lo digas a mi novia (Don't tell my girlfriend)
B2425 October 2004
If you are inclined to indulge yourself in a fresh, candid, and rather engaging cinematic view of modern sexual mores involving a certain upper-class segment of society in Peru's capital city, this is the place to find it. Admittedly that description limits the size of its intended audience somewhat. Nevertheless, this film will appeal to anyone who likes a combination of good production values and autobiographical breastbaring -- so to speak.

The writer is in fact extending his reputedly autobiographical novel into new literary territory. The result is a good if not great movie. It preaches a bit without being preachy as regards racism, class prejudice, homophobia, drugs, and personal loyalties. The central character is by turns likable and unlikeable as he tries to find his true character during puberty and into young adulthood.

I give high marks not only to the principal actors but also to the director.

There are no false steps and few unexplored viewpoints in this story, which starts at the beginning and ends at the end (a rarity in these days of overwrought angularity in the movie business). Unlike some comments already given, I would call the ending appropriately incomplete rather than "sad" or "happy."

Which is as it should be. Ten of ten.
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Running From Yourself
mermatt8 May 2001
Santiago Magill does an excellent job playing the main character as a frightened boy, a confused teenager, a drifter, and finally a "normal" person. All along the way, he is at war with himself. He hates the fact that he is gay in a world full of all sorts of bigotry including homophobia, a world of Hemingway's "macho code" (fighting, hunting, drinking, having sex), and a world that pretends to be dedicated to God when it is really nothing but a sham.

There are numerous surprises in the film for the young hero as well as for the audience. Many surprises come from the ironies involved in putting up a false-front of honesty to hide falsehoods. We see how drugs and manipulations are used to hide from everyone -- including one's true self. The ending is an ironic surprise too.

This is a bittersweet story of a man coming to terms with himself -- if, in fact, he does. The film is well-made and worth watching. Too bad it didn't get wider distribution in theaters, but now it can be enjoyed on video and DVD. If you get the chance, see it. It's a funny, sad, and gripping story of not telling anyone who you are.
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Duality in a macho society
jotix1008 January 2006
The film has been shown in some festivals, but we don't think it had a commercial run in this country. We caught with it recently on DVD format. The movie, directed by Francisco Lombardi, is based on the novel by television personality and writer, Jaime Bayly, with an adaptation by Giovanna Pollarolo. The film is a frank account on the Peruvian society.

It's clear from the start that Joaquin is gay. He has been sheltered by his mother, against his father's wishes. As a way to initiate the young boy in a the typical Peruvian man's world, Luis Felipe, the father, decides to take him hunting, with no good results. Then, the father takes the young man to one of Lima's best house of ill repute, an experience that ends badly.

Joaquin likes Alejandra, the young college student. She feels the attraction as well, but Joaquin has an eye for attractive guys. When Gonzalo and Rocio appear at a disco, Joaquin feels attracted to the hunky young man. It's clear Gonzalo is also interested in Joaquin and thus begins their sexual involvement that will not produce the results either one expected. Gonzalo wants to keep seeing Joaquin, but wants to marry Rocio, but Joaquin, in a fit of anger confesses to the young woman her fiancé is having an affair with him and they Gonzalo leaves him.

The movie is a complex character study about the duality most of these rich young men of the upper crust of the Peruvian society and how they feel about casual gay sex. In a society dominated by the machismo, they must hide away in a married life that is a cover up for the way homosexuality is concealed.

The film is honest in the way it deals with this subject. Santiago Magill makes Joaquin credible in his appealing performance. Lucia Jimenez is also good as Alejandra, the girl that loved him. Christian Meier plays the closeted Gonzalo. Giovanni Ciccia's take on the troubled rich boy Alfonso is right. The rest of the cast does an excellent job in portraying all the upper class people in the movie.

Francisco Lombardi directed with panache this story about a taboo in that type of society.
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One of the first masterpieces in peruvian cinemathography
collette6111 April 2006
Warning: Spoilers
I saw this movie when it first came out in theaters in Peru, it caught a lot of people's attention over there because Peru being a somewhat conservative country, the gay theme is still in some parts taboo, you don't see many people coming out; I know there are a lot more daring movies about homosexuality overseas, but this film was a big step in putting gay culture on the map in Peru.I have read the book, some parts are not mentioned in the movie which can throw the viewer off sometimes, but in the end it did stay true to the story. Once I got to see Jaime Baily with his wife at a fair , I think it was the 90's, it has been a while since i have heard about him in articles, I don't know if he finally came out, but in the book, it makes a suggestion that he got married and still kept his relationship undercover with the guy that he fell in love with, if you see the movie, the only reason why he got married is because the girl willing to do so, thought that she somewhat could change him.
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Must viewing for Latin Americans
gonz3024 April 1999
It's a shame this movie, showcased at the February 1999 Miami Film Festival to a sold out crowd of almost 2,000, has not been distributed outside its home territory of Peru. To North Americans and Europeans, it is only another coming out story, but for Latin America, it's a break out film, based on a break out novel (Read it. Its ending is not compromised for commercial reasons as the film's ending is.)
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Good movie
Mariah-527 May 1999
I think this is not a great, but a good movie. You didn't include Jimena Lindo in the cast, she is the girl who gives Joaquin an earring and then asks for coca. The only problem I find is the actress Lucia Jimenez, she is Alexandra, a tipical rich girl of Lima. Lucia Jimenez can not forget her spanish accent and changes the character. Santiago Magill is very good, also Giovanni Ciccia and Hernan Romero. Wait for the next movie of Francisco Lombardi, "Pantaleon y las visitadoras".
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Excellent and thought provoking
akrenko9 February 2002
I really enjoyed this film --- a great and emotionally complex movie that, like life, is full of ambiguity and difficult questioning. I really felt for the main character as he struggled to be both happy and honorable in a world that will not accept him as he is. I also found myself wavering over just what the right answer for Joaquin was. Not a conventional story, but a very rewarding two hours; highly recommended!
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English title: Don´t tell anyone
Sweden-28 February 1999
Recently shown at the official Swedish Film Festival in Gothenburg (99/02). I hope this movie reaches a wider audience all over Europe. An honest and sincere story about the sometimes painful "coming-out" process. Although quite graphic at some points the story includes both comic relief, sappy moments, great writing and as a bonus a great soundtrack.

Fredrik Olsson 99-02-08
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Being true to yourself
jopur26 April 2004
I rented this DVD based on the strength of Santiago Magill's performance in the film: "I love you, Baby", (not to mention he's a total cutie). I was impressed with the naturalness and vitality of his acting, even though I was not too thrilled with the movie (I love you, Baby) itself. "Don't tell Anyone" is basically a coming out story that unfolds in present day Lima, Peru. Joaquin (the protagonist) is a young gay man of Spanish, not Indian, descent who is struggling to come to terms with his sexuality in the face of the overbearingly machismo culture of his native land, and also the barely concealed racism of those of Spanish descent against the native Indian populace, which racism Joaquin does not share. While the ending is somewhat ambiguous, it seemed to me, even though there weren't any seashells and balloons, that Joaquin had come to some acceptance of himself and his sexuality. Also, there is one scene early on with Joaquin and a young Indian man that shows Joaquin's indifference to matters of race and caste. This is significant in that a gay man is demonstrating far more humanity and decency than any of his so-called Christian family and friends, particularly his father. But all such issues aside, if you have an interest in well-acted and written gay-themed movies, then by all means watch this one. 8\10 stars.
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Gay life in Latin American upper classes
gozo26 May 1999
"No se lo digas a nadie" is a film that is showing in several theaters in Mexico City, following a trend of showing gay themed movies outside art clubs. I think it is a good reflection of what coming out is in Latin America for upper class youth, it shows the alienation that can lead to drug abuse, something that is not particular to this part of the world, as Australian movie "Head on" shows; but more tellingly, it shows the absence of a gay subculture, or at least, in such deeply class divided cultures as Peru and Mexico, the preeminence of class identity over sexual identity. It is thus not only possible but even mandatory for people with a homosexual orientation to marry within the appropriate social circle, while at the same time having homosexual encounters. I think this movie is at times excessively caricaturesque in its portrayal of machismo and its counterpart, submissiveness and religiousness in Latin American women, I felt like I was watching one of the soap operas the region is famous the world over, but on the whole I think the movie is on target in its honest portrayal of the subject.
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A gay boy/man cannot commit to living his own sexual life, but must accept his society's dictates.
marlowechris8 June 2002
There's a surprising use of nudity and sex (both het and homo) in a movie from Peru, even if the money was from Spain.

Good leads. Seemingly honest portrayal of the difficulty of living ones own life, instead of the one expected of you by parents, friends, and society.

It proves you can have your cake and eat it too, but at some dreadful costs.
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Coming Out Is So Very Hard To Do
gradyharp20 December 2005
'No Se Lo Digas A Nadie' ('Don't Tell Anyone') is probably a good PR line for this little film trying to be something grand. In excess of two hours director Francisco J. Lombardi makes an attempt to bring to life the autobiography of gay Peruvian talk show host Jaime Bayly and to explore the angst of teenagers and college students finding their way into the adult world. What results is a soap opera treatment that wades around in a lot of self-pity and wrong choices.

Joaquin Camino (Santiago Magill) struggles as a child with his terrible secret of attraction to boys in a home atmosphere of a macho homophobic father and a religious zealot mother. He tries girls, even a graduation gift prostitute compliments of his father, but he is unable to 'be a man' and after high school runs away from home. In college he mixes with the marijuana and cocaine crowd, unsuccessfully attempts physical affection for his girlfriend Alejandra (Lucía Jiménez) but eventually falls in love with a closet case to end all closet cases Gonzalo (Christian Meier) who runs when Joaquin makes it clear he is available for a relationship. This is the manner of the tale which eventually resolves in demonstrating how many young people hide their true identities behind alcohol and drugs and the fast life: the story as expected has no real ending because of the lack of ultimate character definition.

The cast is fairly strong, especially Santiago Magill, and they try to make the best of a thin script. Production values fit the mood of the film and there are some fine little moments that justify watching it. In the long run the movie seems to be afraid to offend anyone and that fear keeps it from being bold enough to make a clear statement about human sexuality. Perhaps this is because the film is from a Latin American culture (Peru), but basically it is a lost opportunity. Grady Harp
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Enjoyable yet Disappointing
amante1521 September 2004
This movie was nice to watch and follow along. The story was decently done though at times far-fetched. The ending was a bit off, but if you like "happy" endings, then go for it. The disappointment comes from the fact that it barely follows Bayly's original novel. The original is much more realistic, easy-flowing, and well rounded. The sex scenes, I don't believe, were too much. They were similar or more graphic in the novel. But, like I said, the novel is more believable and much more enjoyable for its artistic merits of story telling and "truth telling". I suggest that all who can read Spanish get the book and read it if you haven't already. I don't know if it is in English or not. It is definitely worth the few dollars.
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the book is much better
santitos20017 February 2006
i will give it a ten but the book was far better than this movie, it captivates some of the whole history, but not some of my favorite chapters, the book has a lot more erotic sexual content, and is a plus if the reader is fluent in Spanish cause the translation to English is good but is far better the authentic, a very good story, Jaime bayly is one of my favorite writers, i recommend all his books. yeah i almost forgot that this movie completely forgets Joaquin's early years, also the end in the book is not as good as in the movie, but thats the whole point to the history, the subtitles are good but u will miss some of the essence of the Peruvian phrases, very witty and sarcastic, nudity in this movie is treated very nice, not vulgar but very artistic.
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Cheerless film berates religious oppression and bigotry
Libretio27 December 2004
DON'T TELL ANYONE (No se lo Digas a Nadie)

Aspect ratio: 1.85:1

Sound format: Dolby Digital

An understanding of the macho culture which underpins Peruvian society is a prerequisite for viewers of Francisco J. Lombardi's DON'T TELL ANYONE, an apparently sanitized version of the bestselling book by chat show host Jaime Bayly. Hot young TV star Santiago Magill (one of the most beautiful actors in the world) plays a deeply conflicted individual who finds himself attracted to other men, a situation which places him at odds with the macho prejudice and god-fearing hypocrisy of his affluent, middle-class parents. Struggling to conform, he encourages the devotions of a sympathetic girlfriend (Lucía Jiménez) who believes she can make him 'normal' again. Inevitably, Magill goes off the rails and forfeits his education before descending into coke-fuelled abandon and fleeing to Miami. Unable to escape his past, he's forced to compromise the very essence of his humanity...

Lombardi's cheerless film shakes an angry fist at the influence of religious doctrine in Peru (revealed here as a sham) and the racism suffered by the country's native Indian population, an anger shared by the movie's central character, who rails against the very same bigotry and oppression which stifles his freedom at every turn. His slide into rebellion makes for uncomfortable viewing (Magill gives a powerhouse performance as the delicate, pretty-boy waif who gravitates toward anarchy and emerges a strong - though embittered - survivor), but it's also faintly predictable, given the terrible circumstances under which he is forced to exist. Magill is pleasingly nude in a number of scenes, though gay viewers may be alarmed by the emphasis placed on his relationship with Jiménez, who thinks he's merely suffering a 'trauma' and can be cured by having sex with a woman (it's no surprise to learn that director Lombardi is straight), while his relationships with men are depicted as fragile and fleeting, primarily because his male partners are under the same societal pressures as himself. Unable to indulge his true sexuality, Magill's character seems doomed to a life of unhappiness and deceit, an approach which distinguishes the film from its feel-good American counterparts. Technical credits are polished, and the cast is exemplary, but it's hard to enjoy this bleak little movie, and even harder to dismiss it.

(Spanish dialogue)
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quetzal7717 December 2002
Well, I am not that fond of latino-american cinema. I could say I am ignorant about it. This movie ended in my hands in a casual way, I was curious, and don't ask me why, I like movies about gay. This movie is great. The main actor fulfills his role in a perfect way, specially about his being confused, not well defined sexually, and in general for what concerns his life as well. The plot is(or should be)dramatic, but doesn't let you feel despair, even if maybe in some moments is too superficially light(when the father kills accidentally the indian and when Joaquin leaves his friend dying in the car, seems nothing happened!).The fighting against his own nature to accomplish other's people desires or just to feel normal people in this movie is very realistic, I think, and everything is accompanied by vivid colors and a veil of irony. The final scene, even if obvious is very funny. I was surprised, but maybe just because ignorant!
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Vincentiu13 January 2012
A fight. Testimony and form of self definition.Its crumbs - searches, illusions and refuges.A man and levels of his life. The truth as insignificant detail and desire to be yourself.The beauty of movie do not consists in images, music or acting. It is more. The courage to tell a story about a form of normality. Not sexual orientation but only tolerance for different way to be happy.In Peru or anyway. Seed of a small deep revolution, the film is not only adaptation of a autobiographic novel but a manifesto. A form of define not existence of a guy but values of a society. It is a good film. Why ? For the gentle mode to show a painful drama. For pictures of limits broke. For end. And for the unspoken things. It is enough ? Maybe, not.
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I wonder...
davidtraversa-16 January 2012
A real surprise (in my case) because although this one is my second Peruvian film and the first one was a true flop ("La teta asustada") this one is so good I'm still breathless from the experience. What an excellent movie!!!

The script is SO intelligent that not only shows us the inner turmoil of a young man trying to cope with his forbidden homosexuality (apparently a no-no in "good" Peruvian society, specially when you want to be honest about yourself to the world and come open about it) but most of all in the way it shows us the amazing degree of hypocrisy mankind has gone through to arrive at this point of "Don't ask, don't tell", or as the Italian say: "Si fa, ma non si dice" (roughly translated: "It's done, but it's never talked about").

I wonder... How many lives --so far-- have been ruined by these policies? Macho men --in society-- that behind a close door can do ANYTHING sexual with another macho man, but once outside from that room they don't even know each other...(the SHEER TERROR of being identified as homosexuals...).

A transvestite appears in a very brief scene and his/her figure made me realized that in the world as it is today, these people are real martyrs. They are placed --in the social scale-- at the very bottom (at least this kind of street walkers by night in out of the way public spaces) and yet, come to think about it, THEIR GUTS!!! the incredible guts these people have to face the world AS THEY ARE (This is ME, take it or leave it) and you realize that homosexuality is an inborn thing, not as some preachers go around saying that it is acquired, because (just think for a moment) who wants to CHOOSE as a way of living, to live a life of derision, of insults, of physical blows, of constant humiliation?... nobody as far as I'm concerned. Statistics show the life span of transvestites as 32 years due to the extremely hazardous existence they carry (another strong point to show that nobody would choose to be one if it was possible TO CHOOSE...)

How hypocritical have we been forced to be by this kind of societies? and I'm sorry to say that this is happening not only in Perú, but all over the world... How many more generations of martyrs, of repressed men, of poisoned lives before the world accepts that homosexuality is just another way for sex to manifest itself, as simple and casual as the sun coming out every morning?

A masterful movie by masterful writers and director, a movie that Hollywood will never dare to make and miles ahead of any of its tepid, pussyfooting productions touching homosexuality. It should be a movie to be shown BY LAW in every school in every country of the world.

Do not worry, it will never happen, we'll go on as we are going now, and who knows for how much longer...
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A good production with a cheap exploitation of homosexualism
Elias Riman25 November 1999
I didn´t like this movie, because of the malicious intention of a reaction in the public, based in a cheap exploitation of homosexualism. Using great actors, with the excuse that an actor has to do whatever the screenplay says, and doing scenes that went against they will, only for the pleasure of the director.

Maybe the producer and director wanted to scandal the audience using unnecessary scenes, that didn´t contribute to the plot. On the other hand, the deletion of those graphic scenes, would have made a great movie, because the intention of the book writer, was to show the subtext behind homosexual behavior, not the behavior itself.

P.S. I use to watch Jaime Baily´s TV show every night, and once a caller asked him if he was gay, and he responded no. When he wrote the book, he also said that was not an autobiography. So, I don´t know why a commenter said the opposite. The answers are in the recorded video tapes of his show.
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I love latin movies!
Churu1 August 1999
This one has bad sound, and some of the performances are poor. But the plot is great, is actually excellent. The leading actor and actress are excellent. The only thing I didn't like about the movies is it explicit and graphical content, is just too much beyond the limit....
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