News from the Locarno Festival

Te prometo anarquía – Skate Is Not a Crime. Is It?

“Te prometo anarquía” – Julio Hernández Cordón



Ciudad de México. Skateboarding compadres and casual lovers, Miguel and Johnny have known each other since they were kids – Johnny’s mother, Brenda, still is the maid for Miguel’s well-off family. The two kids spend most of their wasteful days skating through the streets of the city, along the overpasses and through the markets and plazas, supporting their shambolic lifestyle by herding up “cows” to be “milked,” that is, marshalling their friends to sell their blood to emergency rooms and ambulances.

All goes relatively well – well, except for the kid who donates too much blood and can barely stand up straight – until a lucrative offer arrives for their services which turns out to be cartel-related, and much more than the still-innocent Miguel and Johnny can handle. Directing a story inspired by film noir and the life of his brother, Guatemalan director Julio Hernández Cordón (last in Locarno in 2012 with Polvo in the Concorso internazionale) hits the big city and goes for naturalism and, at times, lyricism, over experimentation. Though he’s still working with non-actors, in Te prometo anarquía Hernández Cordón is painting on a larger canvas.

He’s stepped up his game, cleaving close to his script and developing a narrative that above all privileges mood, but ramps up the tension as the big deal goes down and the stakes increase. Creating a melancholic portrait of generational confusion, Hernández Cordón gives us doomed love among the present-day los olvidados who live in the now, an odd romance that shows how sometimes the only choice you’re left with is to start anew. 

Mark Peranson
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