Damn the Pandemic, Full Speed Ahead Film Review
Part 2, Director Juan Felipe Zuleta’s UNIDENTIFIED OBJECTS

[Click here for Part 1]

Screening In Person, Today, October 19, 7:30 p.m., Nitehawk Prospect Park Streaming October 13 – 25

Films permit us to transcend not only our language, but every element of our lives. Through film, we taste and touch and breathe another world we have never experienced. We become the outsider for a moment or two. Even a mediocre film helps its audiences perceive themselves a little bit more clearly. Certainly films helped this fresh-off-the-boat Colombian teenager (with a thick accent) get a grasp on who he was and what he wanted; films like Y TU MAMÁ TAMBIÉNY, CHILDREN OF MEN, THE DEVIL’S BACKGROUND, and more modern classics from Spanish-speaking directors. – Director Juan Felipe Zuleta, Director


Part 2:

A curmudgeonly gay man with achondroplasia and a free-spirited sex worker who form a one-of-a-kind bond in a world that wants to grind them out like a cigarette butt.” 

(Because of the colossal scope, depth and nature of what the filmmakers did, the UNIDENTIFIED OBJECTS Review is in several parts. This editor/writer thought a few parts would make for better reading than one article of 1,000 or 1,500+ words – and trying to publish updates as this small budget film wins more recognition and awards.)

Rather than a film reviewer – alert, conscious, aware of the particulars and essentials needed for a review that could enhance audiences’ movie experience as well as help them evaluate if they should pluck down their ticket $$$ – I was instead swept up into UNIDENTIFED OBJECTS, watching like an audience member undergoing that cinematic experience of irresistibly surrendering to the Big Screen Effect of a powerfully moving film.

Thus, I will be re-watching UNIDENTIFIED OBJECTS again and again because there’s this feeling that so much is going in this movie that I need to see it more than once.

The Big Screen Effect was still resonating when I was doing my Q&A [in Part 3 that is in the works]. A small budget film with the wallop of Big Budget Oscar contender if not like one of the sublime snubbed by the Oscars yet absolutely unforgettable in all of the anals of film: {Click here.}

Filmmaker Juan Felipe Zuleta says the stories he tells in his films “are driven by a deep sense of empathy” and that for UNIDENTIFIED OBJECTS he wanted it to be about characters never seen as the lead characters in a movie, never the stars, characters whose lives need to be up there in lights. Thus a movie about “a curmudgeonly gay man with achondroplasia and a free-spirted sex worker who form a one-of-a-kind bond in a world that wants to grind them out like a cigarette butt.”


Peter played by Matthew August Jeffers and Winona played by Sara Hay are grappling with intersectional oppression, he says in his Director’s Statement. That’s a hell of a derring-do leap, this reviewer believes, for a movie that has multiple sub themes, big and small, regarding COVID-19, Queerdom, romance, disability, isolation, immigration and more.

He and his film writing partner,Leland Frankel tell a story starring a little person “because of the incredible pool of performers with dwarfism who rarely got the chance to play nuanced lead roles on-screen. At a human level and at a creative level, that kind of representation is important.”

Peter (Matthew August Jeffers ) channels his chronic pain and loneliness into self-imposed isolation. Winona (Sara Hay) has chosen to cheerfully detach from real life through a complex fantasy about being abducted by aliens, although she might not be fantasizing. The world is cruel and will not change for them. But maybe they can change themselves to find explosive joy and freedom on their own terms.

UNIDENTIFIED OBJECTS reflects Zduleta’s own experiences adapting to a new country about finding connection; one that only the language of dreams and fantasies can capture how he (and so many others) feel. “Immigrants and other outsiders share a liminal space together, neither here nor there. The COVID-19 pandemic brought all of us into that realm, too” the director says.

“All of us have felt alone and unloved.  All of us  have experienced crushing loneliness. All of us need to believe that we somehow matter in this universe. If Unidentified Objects can show even one restless soul how much they matter, then all of our work was absolutely worth it.”



Oppression is the force that allows, through the power of norms and systems, the unjust treatment or control of people. Intersectionality shows us that social identities work on multiple levels, resulting in unique experiences, opportunities, and barriers for each.

Intersectionality is the interconnected nature of social categorizations such as race, class, and gender as they apply to a given individual or group, regarded as creating overlapping and interdependent systems of discrimination or disadvantage.

Intersectionality also is the acknowledgement that everyone has their own unique experiences of discrimination and oppression and we must consider everything and anything that can marginalize people – gender, race, class, sexual orientation, physical ability, etc.

End of Part 2


Gregg Morris can be reached at gregghc@comcast.net, profgreggwmorris@gmail.com