The Untamed (2016)



Wow! Where has this film been hiding? Thanks goodness for ACMI that keeps showing these unlooked for and unheralded gems. The advertising for this Mexican horror/drama almost put me off; “Sexual desire, social realism and the uncanny converge in this provocative genre splice.” It could’ve been a Neon Demon – and you can click on the link to see how much I loved that ‘genre-splicing, misogyny-satirising’ movie. Happily The Untamed is nothing like it and I loved its deadpan and excoriating look at heteronormative oppression, wound through with a profoundly meaningful and metaphorical motif of horror. Continue reading

Soy Nero (2016)


SOY-NERO-1Gosh this movie sounded good. The synopsis used words like ‘breathtaking’, ‘existential odyssey’, ‘abstract allegory’ and ‘a political version of a Beckett play.’ It really wasn’t any of those things though it has an interesting topic and some nice moments. It is a film in two distinct parts: we see Nero, a teen of Mexican origin who grew up in LA but was deported with his parents, trying to cross the border back to the US. In LA he meets up with his brother but not before being picked up by the police for looking too Mexican in a wealthy area of Beverley Hills. Nero’s plan is to be a ‘Greencard soldier’ where he can join the US military in exchange for a Greencard. Continue reading

Bleak Street (2015)


BLEAK-STREET-3Too bleak for me. Beautiful black and white but claustrophobically grim, this Mexican drama centres on two ageing prostitutes who struggle to make enough money to live. They are exploited by everyone and do the same to others in order to survive. The only true connection seems to be the friendship, or perhaps commonality, between them. Continue reading

The Chosen Ones (2015)


I keep thinking about this film. Like Mediterranea, it is about a current crisis and it seems impossible that this could be happening and nothing can be done about it.

Set in Tijuana in Mexico, we see Ulises, sweet, maybe 17 years old, dating Sofia, an engaging 14 year old. They sleep together, talk, ride bikes, do all the things that teenagers in love do. Then he takes her home to meet his family and it is a picture of domestic normality, his dad is celebrating a birthday, his brother arrives with his wife and baby, his mother cuts the cake. What we don’t know, is that Ulises is part of a family that entices young women with romance, separates them from their family, and then imprisons them in brothels, forcing them into slavery. Sofia is Ulises’s first. Continue reading