Part of the series MoMA Contenders 2019

Monos, with actor Moises Arias

  • This is a past program
Monos, with actor Moises Arias

Monos, which won a Special Jury Award at Sundance, is sure to be one of the most hotly debated films of 2019—one critic called it “Apocalypse Now on shrooms.” In Alejandro Landes’s intensely thrilling twist on Lord of the Flies, Julianne Nicholson plays a terrorized American engineer held captive by teenage guerrilla bandits in an unnamed South American jungle. Leaderless and rootless, the child soldiers puff themselves up with names like Rambo, Smurf, and Bigfoot (the latter a brutal Moises Arias), and survive the tedium and predation of the wilderness through sexual games and cult-like rituals. As they wage physical and psychological warfare on perceived enemies—and, inevitably, among themselves—they are reduced to a state of desperate barbarism. The film’s sense of surreal menace is amplified by Mica Levi’s discordant soundscape and Jasper Wolf’s cinematography.

Monos. 2018. Colombia/Argentina/Netherlands/Germany/Sweden/Uruguay. Directed by Alejandro Landes. Written by Landes and Alexis Dos Santos. With Moises Arias, Sofia Buenaventura, Julianne Nicholson. English and Spanish with English subtitles. 102 min.

Q&A with actor Moises Arias, moderated by Raj Roy to follow.

Learn more about MoMA Contenders 2019


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