Tag Archives: mentor

FROM AFAR

5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)

go site professional cv writers johannesburg i need an argumentative essay showing prognosticate been used essays on lenin and the russian revolution case study writers uk business plan example https://ramapoforchildren.org/youth/civil-disobedience-essay/47/ https://pharmacy.chsu.edu/pages/how-to-create-a-term-paper/45/ source http://www.cresthavenacademy.org/chapter/thesis-examples-for-research-paper/26/ buy generic viagra with paypal about my university essay 1950s homework help buy blue essay books research paper handout cheap essays writing service thesis statement examples viagra 50 mg etkisi ne kadar cv example sample college admission essay thesis on a homicide go to link https://chicagocounseling.org/3456-need-a-ghostwriter/ cheap dissertation conclusion ghostwriters site for college mla format of research essay thesis on education management how to write an amazing personal statement federalist paper writers dissertation methodology professional essay writers in delhi how to write an amazing college essay go to link  

He’s a loner. An older man of few words who works repairing dentures and seems to have a fragile but polite relationship with his briefly seen sister. The camera opens to Armando walking the seedier area of Caracas, Venezuela, following a lean, dark-skinned boy into a bus and offering him a wad of cash. No words exchanged, just cash. Cut to Armando, sitting on a couch in his dark apartment, emotionless, empty eyes, telling the boy to take his shirt off, and lower his pants to just below his glutes. Off-screen, the sound of rubbing, which should by now tell you what this is about, followed by some sterile moans, and then his crisp, curt voice, telling the hustler to leave.

Armando meets another hustler and this time things don’t go as planned: the boy, Elder (Luis Silva, wiry and coltish) is a mass of reactions first followed by very little thought. He’s not as submissive as the others; when Armando takes him back to his place the scene ends with violence and theft and Armando with a black eye.

Still, he remains impassive, unperturbed, and empty. When he’s not following Elder around in ways that clearly cross the line between simple masochistic interest and veer deep into the perturbed, he quietly stalks his father, who seems to be some highly paid executive. In the interim, after Elder gets beaten by some thugs, Armando takes him in and both begin a very ginger dance of older man as mentor and younger man as protegee (willing or not). Conversations are stiff, stilted, but eventually reveal layers of depth: both have absentee fathers.

An act of theft from the still ready to run Elder segues into an act of defiance that shifts the balance of power between him and Armando. Elder begins to demonstrate hints of affection, a thing that doesn’t go unnoticed by both his pals and his mother who sees right through the two’s acquaintance and guesses correctly, throwing him out of the house. And at the fringes of the movie, Armando’s father, an office executive going through his business as Armando observes from a distance.

Much like Laszlo Nemes’ Son of Saul, Lorenzo Vigas’ From Afar (Desde alla) doesn’t give you more information than you need and plays its cards tightly against its chest. Dialog is minimal at best, and more information is passed along by glances, hints, non-verbal cues. Even then, this sense of walking in the dark and knowing only what one needs to know is suspense at its best, because from the get-go, by its very nature, the relationship between Armando and Elder wouldn’t go past a transaction and a cold, sexual act. Vigas, however, has other intentions up his sleeve, and as all of the pieces start to show up, a clearer picture of what the real story is about starts to form.

From Afar is as nihilistic and ugly as the location where it takes place. Armando discloses so little, but his actions say much more, and reveal a man about to burst in anger for some unknown harm (there is the implication he’s a victim of sexual abuse, or something truly awful), but so restrained that his one scene of dominance and aggression comes as a revelation precisely because he’s so far presented himself as a man who seems to want nothing, care for no one, exist to live and just that. Alberto Castro, recently seen in Chile’s The Club also playing a tormented gay man, is restrained to a fault, disclosing next to  nothing about himself, his family, even why he continues to pursue Elder. If anything, this is also a story of trust — trust established after a long, uncomfortable mating dance, cemented, and then smashed into a million little pieces. Vigas’ debut film is a lightning bolt that gives a strong voice to a country like Venezuela, a country who tends not to register in the US (although that trend seems to be reversing thanks to 2015’s El LIbertador). Like Eastern Boys with whom it has been compared (and which was a part of the 2014 Rendezvous with French Cinema selection), it brings forth a slice of gay life that tends to be set aside in lieu of lighter fare. Highly recommended.