One of the most visceral films I’ve seen thus far this year is Monos, Alejandro Landes’ intense immersion into present-day Colombia guerilla warfare. Winner of the World Cinema Special Jury Prize at Sundance this year, NEON picked up the film–which features a score by Mica Levi–for a fall release and now a new trailer and poster have arrived.
I said in my review, “What is more cogently conveyed in this new riff on Lord of the Flies is the failure of an organization when control is given to an unqualified leader who inflicts barbaric dominance on their followers. As the vicious Bigfoot (Moises Arias) assumes control, we watch the slow crumbling of his power and the betrayal of his young outfit. As an intense sociopolitical lesson, Monos certainly sheds vivid light on the costs of war in present-day Colombia, particularly when it comes to taking advantage of minds not yet fully formed. The viscerality will surely leave one shaken, though they may question if the unceasing sadistic acts on display are worth the experience.”
See the trailer and poster below.
MONOS, Alejandro Landes’ awe-inspiring third feature, is a breathtaking survivalist saga set on a remote mountain in Latin America. The film tracks a young group of soldiers and rebels — bearing names like Rambo, Smurf, Bigfoot, Wolf and Boom-Boom — who keep watch over an American hostage, Doctora (Julianne Nicholson).
With a rapturous score by Mica Levi (only her third, after UNDER THE SKIN and JACKIE), director Alejandro Landes examines the chaos and absurdity of war from the unique perspective of adolescence, recalling LORD OF THE FLIES and BEAU TRAVAIL in a way that feels wholly original. Landes brings together a diverse young cast of both seasoned professionals (including Hannah Montana’s Moisés Arias) and untrained neophytes and thrusts them into an unforgiving, irrational and often surreal environment where anything can happen — even peace.
Monos opens on September 13.