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El Diputado Reviews

Spanish director Eloy de la Iglesia makes the connection between sexual and political preference in this post-Franco picture about an ex-homosexual lawyer, Jose Sacristan, who is now married to a beautiful Marxist, Maria Luisa San Jose. Sacristan has strong socialist leanings, but he keeps them hidden until he is arrested and thrown into prison. His time in jail reactivates his repressed homosexuality, and he begins once again to pursue young boys. Meanwhile Franco dies, and all political prisoners are released. Sacristan can now breathe freely, unafraid of repercussions resulting from his political beliefs. Unfortunately, hiding his renewed homosexuality presents a new problem. He develops a serious relationship with a young hustler, Jose Luis Alonso, but Sacristan's Marxist preaching doesn't interest the boy. Originally released in Spain in 1977, EL DIPUTADO was more relevant and daring in post-Franco Spain than it is now to Americans. Despite the ingenious premise and depiction of homosexuality in an honest, realistic light, the film may turn off some viewers because of its stilted acting and militant speechmaking. The film's availability on videotape provides an excellent opportunity to see a commercial Spanish entry that made no impact on American shores. (In Spanish; English subtitles.)