Tribeca 2021 Film Festival Review: Unforgivable (Imperdonable)

Written by Alexander Reams


Gay culture in prison has always been a misunderstood topic in society. This being the subject of Imperdonable the latest film from El Salvadorian filmmaker Marlén Viñayo. Focusing on prison culture, specifically homosexuality in prison. Looking at it not from the outside, but from the inmates and their accounts of seeing what happens to people who come out during their time in prison and accounts of the ones who did come out and how it affected them. The difference between this film and other LGBTQ+ documentaries is that this has the gang aspect thrown into the mix. Specifically discussing the 18th Street Gangs and MS-13 Gang, focusing more on the 18th Street Gang. Being part of a gang already sticks a target on your back. Being gay only adds more targets to your back in prison, and being in a gang, the only truly unforgivable sin is being gay. 

The film explores the tale of one man, who was a part of the 18th street gang, and his mental state throughout his time in prison since coming out. The other inmates feel sorry for him. Their accounts all almost being the same, but ending in the same way; homosexuality is forbidden in gangs, the only issue to unite the gangs hatred for each other to one common subject. While dealing with a tough subject, with people who have controversial beliefs, the film stumbles from major pacing issues. The interviews in prison are interspaced with footage of the warden talking to the inmates, which took me out of the film frequently. Unfortunately, that sin is committed throughout the film and actively frustrated me. The interviews, stories told, and love found are truly beautiful and it’s worth a watch purely for this.

Unforgivable (Imperdonable) Trailer

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