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Los nadie

[…] In a world overwhelmed by violence and hypocrisy, rebellion cannot mean adding violence to violence.

[…] The nice black-and-white photography and the absolute concentration on the personalities create a peculiar suspension of time and space, which allows a faithful depiction of the world of teenagers.

[…] It is exactly within the context of a difficult society that this empathic movie works as a humanist generator of hope.

The punk scene in Medellín, Colombia, is one of the largest in South America; a place where being a punk is not old-fashioned at all. On the contrary: we discover that the “no-future” attitude of past punk groups is transformed today into a more constructive attitude. Juan Sebastián Mesa told us he had met these “new” punks everywhere in South America, traveling and living from money made with their juggling on the streets and at the traffic lights. “Punks on the road” who keep a certain distance from heavy drugs, who want to discover their continent, and who have a stubborn pacifist credo. In a world overwhelmed by violence and hypocrisy, rebellion cannot mean adding violence to violence. In a world in which the social relationships are decomposed or dominated by religious and political fanaticism, these groups of young people build strong relationships that are based on solidarity.

Mesa’s portrait of a specific group of friends in Medellín is the result of an incredible collaboration with non-professional actors. This is probably the secret to the particular authenticity of this urban story. Their community, however, is made of individual friendships, and the audience swings from one character to another discovering, at the same time, the different layers of the Colombian society. Not without a good degree of social criticism, Los nadie puts a tender love story at the centre, as well as the preparation for a long trip throughout all of South America.

The nice black-and-white photography and the absolute concentration on the personalities create a peculiar suspension of time and space, which allows a faithful depiction of the world of teenagers. In this world, the friendships, the love affairs, and the collective dreams make the outside world disappear, or transform it into the architecture of desire. In watching this film, we abandon the normal world to enter the cosmos they create: after the affirmation of one’s own individuality, the creation of a new world is the typical mark of the young generation. The violence of the city remains in the background, even if we can feel it more than once – together with the punk music, the film is constantly accompanied by the sounds of explosions and shootings (whether from fireworks or urban violence, it remains undetermined). It is exactly within the context of a difficult society that this empathic movie works as a humanist generator of hope, even if not all of the friends in the group will be able to escape from the oppressive forces of a violent society in order to build a new community.

Text: Giuseppe Di Salvatore
First published: January 31, 2017

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