The Cannes Film Festival didn’t have many Latin American films in contention this year but one stand out drama is Luis Ortega‘s El ángel (The Angel). The historical thriller tells the story of one of Argentina’s most famous serial killers. Dubbed “El ángel de la muerte,” Carlos Eduardo Robledo Puch (played by cherub-faced Lorenzo Ferro) became well-known after pulling off over 40 thefts and 11 homicides in the early 1970s, all before he was even 20 years old. Ortega’s film kicks off when Carlitos meets Ramon (Chino Darín, yes Ricardo Darín‘s son) at his new school and begins down the path that eventually leads them to pull off the crimes for which Robledo Puch is still serving time.
In the first clip, we get to see Carlitos getting his first taste of violence. Egged on by Ramon’s father (Daniel Fanego) we see Carlitos agreeing to shoot a gun for the very first time—in their teal-painted home, no less! More importantly, we see just how intertwined sex and violence are for our curly-haired killer. “Shut your mouth, breathe through your nose,” he’s told. “Relax your anus.” With advice like that being doled out by a guy in his boxers caressing your body and holding you close, you’re sure to get a sense of the erotics of violence that characterize Ortega’s take on “the angel of death.” It also gives you a hint as to why it’s one of the 14 films in consideration for the annual Queer Palm prize: think of it as queer sibling to Pablo Trapero’s crime family drama El Clan. Check out the full clip below.