Human beings have the right not to be killed—to not learn to kill, Svetlana Alexievich once wrote. However, the teenage protagonists in the second feature by Colombian director Alejandro Landes, which deserved its treatment as a major event at the last Sundance Festival (Special Jury Award), had no choice. In this phenomenally filmed story of a detachment of small guerrillas left behind in the jungle, one can see the influence of Francis Ford Coppola going out of his mind on the set of Apocalypse Now, but Landes never forgets the age of his “soldiers.” Instead of taking another step into an adulthood manipulated by an unknown voice coming over the radio, they would much rather go back in time. Longing for television and their mothers’ embrac, they focus more on their little group, which increases in size with the addition of an American hostage and a cow named Shakira, than on the fight they are instructed to take part in by a mysterious organization. To the accompaniment of the hypnotic music of Mica Levi, smiles quickly disappear from innocent faces, as this game of war has very real consequences.
Sundance FF 2019 – World Cinema Dramatic Special Jury Award; Buenos Aires International Festival of Independent Cinema 2019 – Best Original Score (Mica Levi); Cartagena FF 2019 – Audience Award for Best Colombian Film; Transilvania IFF 2019 – Best Film
Alejandro Landes is a director. Born in Brazil in 1980, he grew up in Ecuador and Colombia. His debut documentary, Cocalero, about politician Evo Morales, was shown at the Sundance Festival, where he returned later with his second feature film, Monos. Telling the story of teenage guerrillas, it won the Special Jury Award in the World Cinema Dramatic section; at the festival in Transylvania, it was named the best film. His earlier film Porfirio, based on a true story, was shown at Cannes.
2019 Monos – oddział małp / Monos