Man Facing Southeast (1986)

Lorenzo Quinteros, Hugo Soto, Inés Vernengo, Cristina Scaramuzza,
A patient in a mental hospital claims to be an extraterrestial. Could he be right?
  • 7.6 /10.0 IMDB Rating:
  • DatePublished:
  • 2018-09-07 Added:
  • Writer:
  • Eliseo Subiela, Director:
  • Producer:
8 / 10

Deserves More Acclaim

A patient (Hugo Soto) in a mental hospital claims to be an extraterrestrial. Could he be telling the truth? What is interesting about this film is that I found it to be a tightrope between "Stalker" and "K-Pax". Sure enough, upon looking into it, "K-Pax" was accused of ripping this film off. Those involved claim it is strictly a coincidence, which may be true, but it is one heck of a coincidence.

This is just a very enjoyable film beginning to end and it is a real shame that the star passed away so young, because the film still has not quite reached the level of acclaim it should and probably will. The blend of science fiction and religious themes makes it a valuable cultural artifact.

7 / 10

a fabrication leans slightly too fanciful and verbose for its own good

"The climax is somehow overlaid with a cynical pang by paralleling Rantes' ordeal with Julio's lustful conquest towards the comely and nubile Beatriz Dick (Vernengo), a self-purported recent friend of Rantes, but the truth remain increasingly murky, and the finale shows that Subeila tries hard to find a middle ground to evade the decision of pinpointing either possibility (is Rantes really an alien or an eccentric earth-bound lunatic?)."

reading my full review on my blog: cinema omnivore, thanks

7 / 10

Nontraditional, worthwhile sci-fi

I got this for Christmas, but I couldn't remember why I'd wanted to see it. Let's just say it's sort of a cult classic. It's an existential sci-fi movie about a strange man who just shows up at an asylum, claiming to be from another planet. (And eventually he teaches us all about ourselves - kidding.) It's exceptionally well done, particularly in the performance by Hugo Soto as the patient. And while the ending may not be satisfying to people looking for answers to questions of where, why, and how, the journey is never dull and often quite exhilarating. This is a pensive, slow-developing movie, and as long as you don't expect traditional sci-fi (heck, the entire movie takes place on Earth!), you might find this as worthwhile as I did.

7 / 10

an alien among us

A mysterious intruder arrives in a Buenos Aires insane asylum, ostensibly just another madman who claims, with unnerving sincerity, to be a holographic image projected from another planet. His mission (so he says) is to study the superweapon with which mankind threatens the cosmos: not The Bomb, but simple human stupidity. It might sound familiar, but don't mistake this modern Passion Play with science fiction. The film instead presents an intriguing philosophical dialogue between the 'madness' of the title character and the troubled sanity of Dr. Denis, a lost soul himself after serving too long the needs of the mentally ill. If there's a fault to the scenario it would have to be the lack of ambiguity about the stranger: Dr. Denis remains skeptical, but the audience is never in doubt of his otherworldly origins. A little ambivalence might have added some dimension to the sanity/insanity debate. The uneasy mood of the film was achieved by shooting it (in subdued shades of color) within an actual mental institution.

9 / 10


I loved this film. Not just because I'm an (ex-)Argentine but because it just works. It is delightful, thought-provoking and bittersweet. The same themes we loved in One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest, the destruction of innocence, the quashing of independence/individuality and the gray, foggy area of mental illness-- are all present in this fine film. Alas, most American viewers will not be familiar with the fine cast but no matter. This is a film that should be watched and enjoyed. You don't have to stick into a Hollywood pigeonhole to appreciate the fine artwork. It will leave you with that same wistful feeling that have done so many other films touching on the institutionalizing of mental patients-- with the possible exception of Harvey.