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Review: 'Young Hunter' Another Fine Effort from Marco Berger

by Roger Walker-Dack
EDGE Media Network Contributor
Wednesday Oct 28, 2020
Review: 'Young Hunter' Another Fine Effort from Marco Berger

Marco Berger, the most celebrated and prolific queer Argentinian filmmaker, is back with "Young Hunter," his eighth feature film. His second film, "Absent (Ausente)" in 2011, which won the prestigious Teddy Award at the Berlinale, is considered his breakthrough, but we have to admit that his very first film, "Plan B," remains one of our favorites.

All of Berger's films focus on the implications of his protagonist's sexuality, most of whom are dealing with it for the very first time. Young Hunter is no different, but Berger turns this coming-of-age story into something of a psychological thriller that has us sitting on the edge of our seats for the whole 90 minutes.

This is the story of Ezéquiel (Juan Pablo Cestaro), a 15-year-old schoolboy who has been left at home whilst his wealthy parents are spending a few months in Europe with his younger sibling.  Ezequiel has lost his virginity (twice) but is literally in heat, so he uses his large home and pool to lure schoolmates back in the hope he can seduce them. Sadly for him, it never works out.

However, one day he hooks up with a more worldly older skater dude, Mono (Lautaro Rodríguez), who meets more than his sexual needs.  Things are going well until Mono insists they hang out with his older "cousin," Chino (Juan Barberini).

Immediately after that, Mono stops hanging out at the skate park and, more importantly, no longer returns any of Ezéquiel's calls or texts.  Ezéquiel is both hurt and confused, but very soon all is revealed in a phone call from Chino. The "cousin" informs him that he had secretly filmed the boys having sex, and is now going to put the video on a porn site on the dark web.

That's not a total surprise, as, although we are used to Berger's overly dramatic soundtracks, this one is more doom-laden and ominous than usual, so we knew something dire was afoot.

Now Chino expects Ezéquiel to take over Mono's role and procure even younger boys to be filmed having sex with. After showing reluctance he agrees and starts to befriend Juancito (Patricio Rodríguez), an overly confident 13-year-old. If anything, this part of the story is not only implausible, but it also makes us feel rather uncomfortable to watch. 

The ending, thankfully, puts us back on track and has us appreciating that despite this blip (!) Berger shows us once again his wonderful insight into the burgeoning sexuality of young queer boys.

Berger always casts his movies so well, and "Young Hunter" is no exception. Both Cestaro and Rodríguez are pitch-perfect as the two teens discovering the possibility that there is more to their physical lovemaking than they had expected.

This very entertaining movie is now out on DVD and streaming platforms.

"Young Hunter" was released on DVD on October 27.

Roger Walker-Dack, a passionate cinephile, is a freelance writer, critic and broadcaster and the author/editor of three blogs. He divides his time between Miami Beach and Provincetown.

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