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Undertow (2009)

Cristian Mercado , Manolo Cardona , Javier Fuentes-Leon  |  Unrated |  DVD
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (86 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Cristian Mercado, Manolo Cardona, Tatiana Astengo
  • Directors: Javier Fuentes-Leon
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Color, Dolby, Full Screen, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: Spanish
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Wolfe Video
  • DVD Release Date: June 1, 2011
  • Run Time: 100 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (86 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004KA1DGG
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #97,366 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Product Description

In a tiny traditional Peruvian seaside village, Miguel, a young fisherman, and his beautiful bride, Mariela, are about to welcome their first child. But Miguel has a secret: he's in love with Santiago, a painter who is ostracized by the town because he's gay. As this strikingly original romantic drama unfolds, Miguel must find the courage to be true to himself. His bittersweet, and ultimately uplifting personal journey embodies the essence of what it means to be a man.


Peru s submission to the Academy Awards! --Wolfe

36 Awards including 19 Audience Awards! --Wolfe

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
38 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magical realism, love and the hereafter February 8, 2011
This beautiful ghost/love story is an eloquent and haunting exploration of the road not taken, of the aching that comes from realizing, too late, that you allowed your greatest happiness, you're most profound love, to fade from your life with no chance of ever retrieving it. In a small coastal village in Peru lives Miguel, a fisherman, and his pregnant and devoted wife, Mariela. Theirs is a life of simple pleasures and surroundings, but they have love, family and a sense of community. Santiago, a worldly artist has been living off and on in the village for many years but to the town's residents he's an outsider, an untrustworthy interloper living on the fringe of their tight-knit existence. However, for Miguel, Tiago (as he refers to him) is anything but; in many ways, he is his other self. These two men have for many years, shared a profound and intense love that due to fear has sadly lingered in shadows for too long. Where Santiago wants to share a more open relationship with Miguel, the latter refuses, even going so far as to reject his own nature and dismissing their shared feelings as nothing more than a special friendship albeit one that he is unwilling to even acknowledge to the outside world; however, when Santiago threatens to leave again, perhaps for good this time, Miguel is crestfallen and equally angry. SPOILERS - One afternoon, Miguel arrives home to find Santiago sitting at his dinner table and becomes enraged and when Santiago sees his reaction he realizes that Miguel can see him. You see, Santiago is now a ghost. He died in an accident and his soul is trapped in that village but is, luckily, visible to Miguel and only Miguel, who, in turn, promises that he will do everything possible to free his soul from its Earth bound existence. Read more ›
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I was not prepared for this! March 6, 2011
I actually missed my first opportunity to see this film at a film festival because the
summary did not immediately grab me. Then it got several film awards including Sundance
Audience Favorite in its category, and a friend urged me to see it. I was just not prepared
for the perfect story, the absolutely convincing moving acting, the stunning physical
setting in Cabo Blanco and the cinematography, the music. I saw it more than once and each time found more and
more in it. This writer/director (Javier Fuentes-Leon) has incredible talent and instincts,
and he worked on the script for close to a decade until it was really everything it needed
to be. Again and again I was asking myself, how did he manage to pull off THAT effect with
such simple means? This film goes right to the heart of what it is to be human, to be in a
relationship, to be in a community. And, how can we reconcile the irreconcilable parts of
our lives such that we can look unflinching into the mirror? The subtitling is very natural
which is not surprising since the Peruvian director works in LA and is fluent in English. I
only regret so few people are going to be able to see these sweeping beaches, caves and
cliffs in the theater, but I'm glad it is going to be released so soon (June 2011) on DVD
and Blu-ray. Stunning as is its effect the first time, when you don't when what is going to
happen or when, it loses nothing on the repetition because nothing was contrived. I just
started appreciating the minor characters, the unobtrusive but effective symbols, the perfectly laid-out music, all the more. In other words, a perfect film for DVD/Blu-ray !
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Achingly beautiful June 9, 2011
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This wonderful and achingly beautiful film that is gorgeously filmed in a small, by the sea, village in Peru is part ghost story and part a love story. The part that is a love story between Santiago and Miguel forms the part that touched me to my soul because it tells a beautiful tale of the unfulfilled love between two men (Miguel and Santiago). The roles of Santiago and Miguel are brilliantly played by Cristian Mercado and Manolo Cardona. In watching them in this film, one really believes in their love for each other. In fact, all of the acting in "Undertow" is superb as is the script, direction and photography. I really enjoyed this marvelous "little" film. It's truly my kind of movie that makes one think, and most of all feel emotionally. I loved it.

(Do view the interviews with the director and actors--they are wonderful)
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Brave New Film June 4, 2011
Now and then a small quiet film surfaces without ballyhoo or even much press and finds its way before audiences who are deeply moved by a film about which few have even heard. Such is the case for UNDERTOW (CONTRACORRIENTE), a little film from Peru that is not only well written and directed (Javier Fuentes-León) and well acted by a fine and credible group of actors, but one that also deals with story and information that few film dare to touch. The film has won many awards at film festivals on the order of Sundance and GLAAD, but it has failed to make the public take notice in the theaters - probably because it is a Latin American male love story.

According to the writer/director, the story 'takes place in a small conservative seaside village in Peru. On the surface, all appears well for a fisherman and his devoted wife who are expecting their first baby. The hero is a hardworking and respected member of his community, which holds fast to rigid traditions. There is one wrinkle - he is also devoted to his male lover. A catastrophic accident does not erase the presence of his lover, as the fisherman must now contend with the apparitions of his forbidden love and the gossip and disapproving stares of his neighbors. And it may go without saying - his wife isn't too pleased either.'

Miguel (Cristian Mercado) is the little fisherman who seems to have it all - a loving wife Mariela (Tatiana Astengo), a solid group of friends and family, and the incipient birth of his first child. But Miguel is a closeted gay man/bisexual who is in love with a painter/photographer, the handsome Santiago (Manolo Cardona) who seems content to maintain a relationship with Miguel in secret.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Subtle and Clever
From a first look at the cover of Undertow, I thought that the story was going to be frail, simplistic and would fail to convince because such idyllic places may no longer exist,... Read more
Published 7 hours ago by Geraldo Faria
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Not easy but worth watching.
Published 2 days ago by Ivan V.
5.0 out of 5 stars Undertow - An emotionally unapologetic love story.
This was a truly wonderful movie. Beautifully filmed and portrayed by all the actors. I won't call it a 'gay' film but rather a film that truthfully explores the romantic and... Read more
Published 1 month ago by James Walker
3.0 out of 5 stars I was expecting it to be much better after reading the reviews
I was expecting it to be much better after reading the reviews.It was well acted and scripted but I was a little bored by it.
Published 2 months ago by Peter M
5.0 out of 5 stars I'm so glad that I didn't allow my preconceived notions about the ...
This will not be a very helpful review. I'm so in my feelings right now...the last scene killed me, made me ugly cry. Please check out the other 4 & 5 star reviews for details. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Lovely
5.0 out of 5 stars All your human Emotions will be unleashed!!!
This movie is a Gem! A most see for everyone! In every category it does not get better than this!!! Mr. Cardona you have set the standard... Very well done ...Sir
Published 3 months ago by Richard Mendoza
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful.
To me, a good movie takes me to places I've never seen before and introduces me to cultures I've never experienced before. This film does that in spades. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Bill
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful!
Beautiful story very well written and the actors were great. It provided a psychological underlying aspect that was simple to understand and appreciate how delicate the subject of... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Bienvenido Martinez
5.0 out of 5 stars An Unexpected Surprise
Had seen this movie reviewed some time ago, and filed it away as one I might like to watch, and then proceeded to forget about it. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Virgil Osborn
5.0 out of 5 stars I love it
Im glad i bought this movie i highly recomended
Published 6 months ago by manolo ortega
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