International Film Festival Rotterdam

José Celestino Campusano – Men of Hard Skin #IFFR2019

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4 min. and 41 sec.

The difficult sexuality of the countryside.

Play Podcast
4 min. and 41 sec.

PODCAST| Matt Micucci interviews José Celestino Campusano, director of the film Men of Hard Skin.

To listen to the interview, click on the ► icon on the right, just above the picture

An interview with filmmaker José Celestino Campusano. Last year, the International Film Festival Rotterdam featured a whole retrospective of his work. This year, it featured his new film, Men of Hard Skin, in its Deep Focus strand. The film is set in the countryside and talks about the difficult sexuality within the rural context, particularly revolving around a young man’s sexual discoveries through a relationship with a pedophile priest. In this interview, he Campusano talks about his interest in sexuality, his familiarity with the countryside setting and also tells us a bit about the VR project that was also presented at this year’s IFFR, La Secta del Gatillo.

Men of Hard Skin: The power of this Argentine drama is shrouded in modesty. Through the prism of only two relationships, José Celestino Campusano sketches the difficult way sexuality is treated in different layers of Argentine society. Ariel is a good-looking farm boy who lives with his father and sister in a rural part of Buenos Aires province. He has become familiar with sex thanks to Omar, a priest with whom he has a secret affair. The film begins when Omar ends their relationship. Campusano, to whom IFFR dedicated a retrospective in 2018, sketches a complex but unsentimental and realistic picture of sex and abuse. He shows how the church tries to hide transgressions; how priests themselves have sometimes been the victims of this; how people regard prostitutes as a remedy for homosexuality. Despite everything, Ariel starts to trust his own body more, and trusts the patriarchal world around him less.

  • Reporter
    Matt Micucci
  • Guest
    José Celestino Campusano
  • Interviewee role
  • Film title
    Men of Hard Skin
  • Festival section
    Deep Focus
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