Watch-list: Sublime

Written and directed by Mariano Biaisin, Sublime is a coming-of-age story set in a coastal town in Argentina.

The film gives us the story of Manuel. He’s 16 and when he’s not in school he’s playing in a band with his best friends.

Things get complicated when Manuel starts to realise that he is sexually attracted to his friend Felipe. It’s a confusing time for Manuel – compelled to try and figure himself out but not wanting to risk his friendship with Felipe.

The cast includes Martin Miller as Manuel and Teo Inama Chiabrando as Felipe.

The queer kid coming-of-age story is fairly familiar territory but, with Sublime, Mariano Biaisin has delivered one of the better examples of the genre.

What’s impressive is Biaisin’s restraint in the telling of this story. It’s not just emotional restraint – much of the turmoil that the characters are experiencing is internalised. Biaisin gives us plenty of detail about these characters and their lives, but uses that to build authenticity around the story rather than adding extra drama to the narrative.

There is a lot of music in this film and the use of the boys’ band is intelligent – it brings them together, it helps to shape the timeline of the narrative arc, and the music they’re creating helps them to express emotions. Again, it feels authentic – it feels like a teenage band trying to figure things out but excited about the possibilities of what might lie ahead.

Sublime is a film that effectively explores that emotional rollercoaster of being a queer teenager but also celebrates youth and the power of young love.

Sublime is distributed by Peccadillo Pictures


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