Welcome to Screen Gems, our weekend dive into queer and queer-adjacent titles of the past that deserve a watch or a rewatch.
The Borderline: The Prince
Whatever it says, this excellent Chilean film ended up on a list of banned titles by Amazon the first week of its release. Having seen it, we can guess why. The Prince tells the story of Jamie, a young gay man sent to prison in Chile in the 1970s. Upon his arrival, he immediately becomes the bottom for a prison crime lord of sorts. From there The Prince goes on to follow Jamie’s coming of age, and examine some very strange contradictions in the ultra-macho–and very homoerotic–world of masculine identity. That includes lots of man-on-man sex and full frontal nudity so graphic the movie skirts the edge of pornography. At one point, several of the actors even appear to get aroused on camera. We’re guessing that’s why Amazon banned it.
Yet The Prince never tries to titillate. Rather, the film meditates on the contradictions of masculinity–obsession over genital size, number of sexual partners, the constant need for body contact with other men, and how all of those qualities also have innate homoeroticism. Juan Carlos Maldonato, as Jamie, gives a fearless performance, and the plot has some very interesting twists to provoke thought as to the film’s ultimate message. Bold, shocking and sexually charged, The Prince should interest anyone that is–or has ever met–a man.
Streams on AppleTV, Vimeo and Fandango Now.