Photo: "Somos Mari Pepa"
Mexican director Samuel Kishi Leopo’s “Somos Mari Pepa,” a movie about four young friends who form a punk rock band, made its European debut at the Berlin International Film Festival.
Kishi screened the movie in the “Generation Plus” category at the Berlinale, treating the audience to a coming-of-age film about youths who must adapt to reality.
The four musicians - played by Alejandro Gallardo, Arnold Ramirez, Moises Galindo and Rafael Andrade - must decide whether to grow up and abandon their childhood dream or pursue it by entering a music contest.
“It’s a punk film because it talks about not having a future, about uncertainty. Are we really going to be rock stars? Are we really going to get the hot chicks? Are we going to do everything we wanted to do when we were young or is living day to day all we have to look forward to?” Kishi asked.
The film, which is about “learning to say goodbye,” stars young men who are not professional actors, Kishi said.
The director said Gallardo, Ramirez, Galindo and Andrade lived in his neighborhood.
“I noticed that the camera sought them out, they were very different but, at the same time, they had a spark on camera and lots of times that doesn’t happen with young actors who are very trained,” the director said.
The movie, which was made in the western Mexican city of Guadalajara with a small budget, has many scenes shot by the star with a handheld camera, giving the audience a window into the character’s world.
Kishi said screening his film at the Berlinale on Tuesday was extremely important.
“It means a tremendous amount for the film, it’s a big showcase, a big window for something made in my neighborhood with friends, former classmates,” the director said.