Blokes (Block) (2010) - Marialy Rivas

Language: Spanish (English hard subs)
Country: Chile

Santiago, Chile, 1986. Luchito, a 13-year-old boy, masturbates while he obsessively contemplates Manuel, his 16-year-old neighbor, whom he can see standing by a window in an adjacent project building. Oblivious of the gaze of his precocious voyeur, Manuel discovers his sexuality with girl from the neighborhood. The window turns into an erotic cinematographic world that awakens a curiosity in Luchito, with disastrous repercussions for Manuel.


At first this poignant short looks nothing more than the sweet tale of an innocent teenage crush. Namely the story of Chilean teen Luchito and that of his increasing obsession with the body of a slightly older youth who lives in the apartment block opposite his, forever to be had shining a light in the direction of his object of desire's bedroom window, in the hope of catching a glimpse of football loving Manuel naked, perhaps even in the middle of a sexual act itself.

Yet just as signals can be misinterpreted, so too can appearances be deceptive. For check out the country of origin, together with the year in which this piece is set, in this case 1986 and those knowledgeable of the life and times of then Chilean President General Augusto Pinochet, will be only too well aware as to what dramatic backdrop in the history of Santiago, this short is modelled on.

Complete with an up close and personal bus sequence, together with acts of stimulated masturbation, this work, based on a story by Pedro Lemebel, as written and directed by Marialy Rivas, is as much a history lesson on the often bloody times of Chile, as it is a tale of burgeoning adolescent sexuality. Need more be said?

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