Miguel Llansó’s post-apocalyptic, sci-fi romance, “Crumbs” is set in an unspecified period, amid a deserted Ethiopian landscape that is the a result of a “big war.” The resplendent oddity depicts a civilization in which junk of the late 20th century is considered of high value, as we follow the film’s diminutive superhero, Gagano (played by Daniel Tadesse), a junk collector, who embarks on a surreal epic journey, which includes a witch, Santa Claus and second-generation Nazis, to name a few, who exist within this even more peculiar Oz.
“Crumbs” is both a sci-fi adventure movie, as well as a love story, with dark humor and a playfulness, as writer/director Llansó paints a very imaginative portrait, with a distinctive style, contradicting its low budget. As others have noted, it’s solid proof that filmmakers don’t need to spend millions of dollars to achieve something so striking and unique. It takes an unrestrained imagination.
Clocking in at a little more than an hour, this wonderfully idiosyncratic film from a very distinctive voice – and one that I’m glad exists – is, in its most simplistic form, your familiar man-on-a-mission narrative. It’s Afrofuturism complemented with a simultaneous Spanish realism and Romanticism (comparisons to Andrei Tarkovsky and Llansó’s fellow Spaniard Luis Buñuel are likely), full of American pop-culture nods, like references to Michael Jackson, Michael Jordan, Justin Bieber, and others.
The official synopsis reads: Set against the background of spectacular, wild and desolate Ethiopian landscapes, CRUMBS introduces audiences to a strange-looking scrap collector, Gagano. Alternately gripped by daydreams and constant fears, the diminutive Gagano has had enough of collecting the priceless crumbs of decayed civilization – Teenage Mutant Ninja amulets, toy ray guns and Superman costumes — including the most valuable: merchandise from Michael Jackson and Michael Jordan. Meanwhile, his true love, Birdy (Selam Tesfaye) pines for him in the abandoned bowling alley they’ve colonized. When a spaceship that has been hovering high in the sky for years starts showing signs of activity, Gagano has to overcome his fears – as well as a witch, Santa Claus and second-generation Nazis — to discover things aren’t quite the way he thought.
The director/actor pair (Llansó and Tadesse) have worked together before, on the award-winning 2013 short film “Chigger Ale,” about “Hitler´s Ethiopian clone,” which is just as admirably offbeat as “Crumbs.”
Among its trophies, the film won a special Nightfall Jury Mention at the 2015 Los Angeles Film Festival, and the New Flesh Award for Best First Feature Film at Montreal’s 19th Annual Fantasia International Film Festival.
“Crumbs” was released yesterday, November 3, on DVD, and will be released on all digital platforms on November 17. Currently it’s enjoying a very limited theatrical run, with a stop in Phoenix, AZ on November 17 next, at Phoenix Center for the Arts (tickets). It’s a film that deserves to be seen on the big screen, but, more importantly, it deserves to be seen. So see it in whatever format is accessible to you.
Note: the DVD release will also include 2 short films from director Llansó: “Night in the Wild Garden,” and the aforementioned “Chigger Ale.”
Shadow & Act has been granted an exclusive look at the first 7 minutes of the film, which you can watch embedded immediately below: