Screened as part of NZIFF 2010

Undertow 2009


Directed by Javier Fuentes-León

This sensuous, sun-drenched fable tells of a macho small-town fisherman dividing his attention between his adoring wife and the handsome, bohemian outsider who becomes his lover. Audience Award Sundance 2010.

Colombia / France / Germany / Peru In Spanish with English subtitles
97 minutes

Director, Screenplay


Rodrigo Guerrero
Javier Fuentes-León


Mauricio Vidal


Roberto Benavides
Javier Fuentes-León


Selma Mutal


Cristian Mercado (Miguel)
Tatiana Astengo (Mariela)
Manolo Cardona (Santiago)
Atila Boschetti (Sra. Rosa)
José Chacaltana (Héctor)
Maria Edelmira Palomino (Doña Flor)
Julio Humberto Cavero (Padre Juan)
Haydée Caceres (Trinidad)
Emilram Cossio (Pato)
Cindy Díaz (Isaura)
Juan Pablo Olivos (Tano)
Christian Fernández (Jacinto)


San Sebastian 2009; Sundance 2010


Audience Award (World Cinema), Sundance Film Festival 2010


Favoured with the Audience Award at Sundance in January, this sun-drenched fable tells of Miguel, a macho small-town fisherman intent on sustaining the attentions of his adoring, increasingly bewildered wife and the handsome, bohemian outsider who becomes his lover. Writer/director Javier Fuentes-León tempers his picture of Miguel’s increasing alienation from the tight coastal community with lyrical magic realism. Ultimately skirting the oppressive conclusions one fears, he defies – or possibly redefines – machismo with a rousing assertion of love, honour and courage. — BG

“Set in a ravenously beautiful seaside fishing village in Peru, Undertow contrasts the sensuous and free nature elements of the beach with the repressed and closed mindset of the villagers… Fuentes-León's delicately and sensuously illuminates this collision of contemporary sexuality with centuries of dogma and tradition.” — Duane Byrge, Hollywood Reporter