Melnitz Movies presents:
CUCHILLO DE PALO (108)
Directed by Renate Costa
Country: Spain, Language: Spanish,
Runtime: 93 minutes, Year: 2010
About the film:
When Rodolfo Costa was found naked on the floor of his home in Paraguay, he had been dead for days. Though ostensibly jobless, he had mysteriously amassed a small fortune. He also had a secret alias—Héctor Torres—and a secret life.
At the time, Renate Costa Perdomo was a young girl. Asked to select her uncle's burial garb, she found his closet empty. Surely the lively, colorfully-dressed Rodolfo she knew could not, as those around her claimed, have died of sadness.
In her powerful debut documentary, which unfolds like a mystery novel, Costa Perdomo investigates the shadowy circumstances of Rodolfo's death. Witnesses and clues gently reveal Rodolfo's true identity as a persecuted gay man and the terrifying "108" homosexual blacklists that ruined lives, careers, and families. The film is also a fascinating portrait of the relationship between the filmmaker, who has left Paraguay and now lives in Spain, and her now-divorced father, Pedro Costa, who remains in the family blacksmithing shop. 108 is a moving illustration of the impact that the right-wing dictatorship of Alfredo Stroessner, who ruled Paraguay from 1954 to 1989, had on the so-called "108"s living in the country as experienced by a single Paraguayan gay man and his family.
"Highly political wihtout ever once veering into tiresome or abrasive preachiness. For all the oppressive horror it reveals, the film is nevertheless quite lovely, in its methodical peeling away of the camouflage that clouded so many gay lives in the past." —Film Journal International
World Premiere, 2010 Berlin Film Festival
Winner, Best Film, Buenos Aires Human Rights Film Festival
Winner, Best Film, 2010 One World Human Rights Documentary Film Festival, Prague
Watch the trailer:
When & Where
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● A Graduate Student-run screening series of new sneak previews, LA premieres, and cult
or classic repertory films that runs twice weekly throughout the UCLA academic year. Films are frequently accompanied by special guests, cast or crew, Q&A sessions and more.
● Funded by the Graduate Students Association and ASUCLA Student Interaction Fund.