Directed by Lorenzo Vigas
93 min | 2015 | Venezuela/Mexico | Not Rated
Principal Cast: Alfredo Castro, Luis Silva, Jericó Montilla
Wealthy, middle-aged Armando lures young men to his home with money. He doesn’t want to touch them, only look at them from a safe distance. By showing them handfuls of cash, Armando takes blue-collar young men home, sits them down on his comfortable chair, and watches them undress without ever trying to touch them. This appears to be Armando’s sole form of sexual gratification, but his next attempt goes poorly when he meets street thug Elder, a 17-year-old boy who is the leader of a criminal gang.
Armando’s first encounter with Elder is violent, but this doesn’t diminish the lonely man’s fascination with this tough handsome teenager. Financial incentive keeps Elder visiting him regularly, and an unexpected intimacy between the two men emerges.
Set in the Caracas slums, first-time filmmaker Lorenzo Vigas’s turbulent film charts a complex relationship between two men from different worlds. Winner of the Golden Lion for best film at the Venice Film Festival, From Afar is an uncompromising piece of queer cinema. The film explores a complicated, and awfully repressed, truth not only about gay desire, but desire in general: wanting something seems completely contingent on the unavailability of what one wants.
Winner: Golden Lion—2016 Venice Film Festival