By Dennis Hartley
(Originally posted on Digby’s Hullabaloo on July 22, 2017)
Man Facing Southeast – Kino-Lorber Blu-ray
I originally caught this 1986 sleeper from Argentina on Cinemax 30 years ago and have been seeking it ever since. Kino-Lorber’s Blu-ray edition signals the film’s first domestic availability in a digital format.
Writer-director Eliseo Subiela’s drama is a deceptively simple tale of a mysterious mental patient (Hugo Soto) who no one on staff at the facility he is housed in can remember admitting. Yet, there he is; a soft-spoken yet oddly charismatic young man who claims to be an extra-terrestrial, sent to Earth to save humanity from themselves. He develops a complex relationship with the head psychiatrist (Lorenzo Quinteros) who becomes fascinated with his case.
While sold as a “sci-fi” tale, it’s hard to pigeonhole; the film is equal parts fable, family drama, and Christ allegory (think King of Hearts meets The Day the Earth Stood Still). Powerful and touching. Extras include interviews with Subiela, Soto, and DP Ricardo de Angelis.