Screening as part of the Museum of Modern Art and the Film Society of Lincoln Center’s 44th New Directors/New Films (ND/NF) festival (March 18-29) in NYC is “Los Hongos,” from Colombian director Oscar Ruiz Navia, his second feature which follows 2 young street artists as they explore the vibrant and exciting milieu of the director’s hometown of Cali.
Every night after work, Roberto makes graffiti on different walls of his neighborhood on the east of Cali. One day he loses his job because he steals several cans of paint, using them to create a large mural on the lot next to his house. Without a dime to help his mother, he crosses the city looking for Eduardo, another young graffiti artist, who studies fine arts and is having a difficult time since his parents divorced and his grandmother was diagnosed with cancer. Both penniless, the boys move aimlessly through the city, expressing themselves with through their art, creating images on walls along the way, making statements, while sharing memories and experiences.
The film’s title, “Los Hongos,” translates to “The Fungi” – living creatures that appear in the context of dreadful putrefaction and decay; life that comes from death. And it is here that the spirit of the film lies, as the filmmaker says: “‘Life,’ which I intend to portray because death has touched me – not only my grandmother’s, but also the death of my home after the divorce of my parents. I have returned to a city that I find different, almost alien, which fills me with nostalgia and therefore I want to turn into a song of life.”
The film, which made its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, was an international co-production backed by Contravia, a Cali-based company run by the filmmaker; Burning Blue, which is based in Bogota and run by Diana Bustamante; and Arizona Films, a French-based production company, run by Guillaume de Seille.
The three companies previously coproduced Oscar Ruiz Navia’s first film, “El Vuelco del Cangrejo” (“Crab Trap”) in 2009.
“Los Hongos” next screens at the New Directors/New Films here in NYC, on Saturday, March 28. Click here for ticket info.
Dominique Tonnelier and Jovan Alexis Marquinez star.
Watch the trailer for “Los Hongos” below: