The compelling semi-autobiographical Mexican coming-of-age tale This Is Not Berlin / Esto no es Berlin by Hari Sama is having its U.S. theatrical release starting Friday, August 9 at the IFC Center in New York, and on Friday, August 23 at the Nuart Theatre in Los Angeles and Miami’s O Cinema and Tower Theatre, followed by a national rollout by the hand of Samuel Goldwyn Films.
A hit at the Sundance and Tribeca film festivals, the fifth feature film by Sama boasts a knock-out ensemble cast headed by Xabiani Ponce de León and José Antonio Toledano, along with Academy Award nominee and Roma star Marina de Tavira, named by Variety as one of its “10 Actors to Watch.”
Set in Mexico in 1986, as the country gets ready for the World Cup, the film follows 17-year-old Carlos, an introverted kid who doesn't fit in: not in his family nor at school. Everything changes when he’s invited to the Aztec, a legendary Mexico City nightclub where he discovers the underground nightlife scene—post-punk, sexually fluid, and fueled by drugs. Carlos’s awakening will challenge his relationship with his best friend, Gera, the brother of his crush, Rita, while helping him discover his passion for experimental art and lead him into adulthood.
With impeccable art direction and a pulsing soundtrack, the film offers a revealing portrait of Mexico City in the eighties—an era of deep political, social, and cultural changes for the country that shaped today’s contemporary Mexico. Hailed as “an urgent and refreshing queer take on the coming-of-age genre” and “a potent love letter to a Mexico at a crossroads” (Manuel Betancourt, Out Magazine), Sama’s energetic bildungsroman introduces an accomplished Mexican filmmaker to an international audience, delivering artistry and maturity in a heartfelt story about youth and self-realization.
Watch the U.S. official trailer: