The Delta ★★★★

Sachs’ increasingly-engrossing debut feature is an immersion into the pleasures and tensions that accompany queer invisibility. It’s a provocative, assured film that doesn’t feel much like his others, indulging in narrative bait and switch tricks that the elder, more reserved Sachs would likely reject. One moment it’s a gritty observation of a Southern gay subculture, the next it’s a revisionist and beatific updating of Huckleberry Finn. Sachs, by keeping the film unknowable, does a great deal to allude to his subjects’ complexities. In many ways The Delta is emblematic of its time (e.g. in its focus on identity), yet it is just as often ahead of its time (mostly in terms of its elliptical construction and slow-cinema formalism).

73/100