Colombia has announced that Alejandro Landes’ third feature Monos will be representing the South American nation in the next edition of the Academy Awards in the foreign language competition. The survivalist thriller was the winner of the World Cinema Dramatic Special Jury Award at the last edition of the Sundance Film Festival, where it had its world premiere.
Monos 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). The teenage commandos perform military training exercises by day and indulge in youthful hedonism by night, an unconventional family bound together under a shadowy force know only as The Organization. After an ambush drives the squadron into the jungle, both the mission and the intricate bonds between the group begin to disintegrate. Order descends into chaos and within Monos the strong begin to prey on the weak in this vivid, cautionary fever-dream.
With a rapturous score by Mica Levi, director 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.
The film will be released in U.S. screens on Friday, September 13 by the hand of distribution company Neon.