Sexual Dependency

Although at times didactic, this punchy DV feature (2003) from Bolivian-American director Rodrigo Bellott provides a sobering look at youthful sexuality, shifting from the alcohol-fueled bed hopping of South American teens to a violent sexual assault on an American college campus. Much of the dialogue was improvised by the nonprofessional cast, a strategy that sustains the film's humanity as it turns into an upper-level seminar on male hazing rituals. Less successful is Bellott's perpetual use of split-screen gimmickry, a largely pointless distraction. Still, few movies on the subject of peer pressure offer so wide a cultural critique, even pointing a finger at underwear billboards, and Bellott's roving eye makes him a filmmaker to watch. In English and subtitled Spanish. 105 min.

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