A film we totally missed in our Cannes 2012 coverage, and certainly deserved our attention…
Directed by Juan Andrés Arango, and titled La Playa D.C., the film centers on Tomas, an Afro-Colombian teenager struggling with the difficulties of growing up in a city (Bogota) of exclusion and racism against those who look like him; When his younger brother disappears, Tomas is forced to leave his home to look for him. With the help from his older brother Chaco, Tomas roams the city's streets, as his search becomes more of a journey in which he's forced to face his past, and to leave aside the influence of his brothers in order to find his own identity, all with the vibrancy and instability of a city in flux as the film's backdrop.
The coming-of-age drama competed in the Un Certain Regard section at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival, and was well-received by critics, calling it a bold directorial effort from Arango, the 35-year-old native-born Colombian, who trained and worked in Canada and the Netherlands before returning home to shoot his debut feature.
No word on where the film will screen next, but I can say that it left the festival without distribution; it'll likely travel the film festival circuit over the next several months, and we'll be watching its progress from here on, because I like the look and sound of this, based on the trailer below, with its wonderful use of Bogota's geography, evocatively shot in a mesh of blues, greens and grays.
Luis Carlos Guevara stars as Tomas, Andrés Murillo plays younger brother Jairo, and Jairo James Solis plays older brother Chaco.