Here is a film that shows the anguish faced by so many young people coming to terms with their sexuality. Rafa is a popular guy among his group of friends at the local high school. Although he does not approve of the more macho positions struck by some others in his small group, there is nothing to mark him out as different. This changes when his friends come across Ibrahim, a young illegal immigrant from Morocco.
He feels a strange attraction to this young man and a friendship grows between them that causes Rafa to question both his own sexuality and his loyalty to his group of friends. The scorn with which the refugees are treated by locals is compounded by the harsh line taken by the authorities to deportation. Ibrahim is caught between an unforgiving system and the hostility shown to him by Rafa’s friends. Rafa, alone, offers the friendship he needs.
Mikel Rueda has created a film that reminds us of the conflicts of youth and the pain there can be when it seems that something central to your life, and that defines you, takes you away from your friends and what has counted, up to then, as normal life. The refugee theme adds a further dimension. The tension between local Spanish people and the unwelcome guests adds another barrier that Rafa crosses when he transfers his loyalty. Love is where it falls and this film shows us that choosing love is not always easy.
‘Hidden Away’ is in my hinterland. What’s in yours?