"Clandestinos" was a pleasant surprise. Well acted, and with a rather interesting premise. Ultimately this is not a 'gay' movie, although the central theme revolves around such. In my opinion (and I am sure there will be many that disagree) this movie is more about the consequences of a failed youth, where the absence of any parental figure can cause a unfulfilled man (Xabi) to seek such fulfilment (dare I say affection) in all the wrong places.
Indeed he finds that affection in a much older man, and as a consequence of his need to belong, he allows himself to be manipulated by that older man's political agenda. His words to Iñaki in fact are far more revealing when considered in retrospect, in that he says 'good thing politics mean nothing to me'. Ultimately he wants to be loved, and needs to find himself part of someone else. His sense of loneliness is exasperated by his situation, in that he is merely a number in a maximum security reform school (for young men). There is exists as all the others, sleeping, bathing and exercising by routine. Nonetheless, he tries to find some sense of self in his football and friends, and when he escapes with them, one is taken aback by the violence used.
Outside he disappears into the sublime normality of the world, where countless numbers exists and yet so many remain unknown and lonely. He tries to reconnect with Iñaki, and when ignored tries to make a bold public statement he will appreciate. Casual reference is made to the Basque separatist movement in the movie, although in my opinion this is merely used as a means to an end, and is thus not pivotal to its understanding.
The main actor Israel Rodríguez is someone to watch, as his intense portrayal showed great promise. In the end, I was very surprised at the candour of the story, and I have so many questions as a result.