Los Debutantes review

The latest hotly tipped crime-thriller to emerge from South America, this confident debut feature from Chilean director Andrés Waissbluth unfolds in the criminal underworld of contemporary Santiago. Divided into three sections, with each part representing the perspective of a different character, Los Debutantes concerns two young brothers, Victor (Juan Pablo Miranda) and Silvio (Néstor Cantillana). They become fatefully embroiled with an erotic dancer Gracia (Antonella Ríos), who herself is the property of a vicious gangster (Alexander Trejo). There's a whole slew of influences on this cleverly edited tale of obsession and duplicity, yet Waissbluth's Oedipally charged story draws on the realities of teenage pregnancies, pornography and drug-trafficking. And newcomer Ríos makes an alluring femme fatale, playing Gracia both as a ruthless manipulator and a tragic victim of male exploitation. Powerful and compelling.

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