This co-production between Colombia, Luxembourg, France, Mexico and Norway won the Golden Shell at the 70th San Sebastián Festival.
A tropical road movie
This tropical road movie tells the story of five teenagers who live on the streets of Medellín, Culebro, Nano, Rá, Sere and Winny. They leave the city and head deep into the Colombian jungle in search of land that Rá inherited from his grandmother. Along the way, they meet various characters who help them in their quest, while warning them of the dangers ahead.
Los Reyes del Mundo shows realistic characters, played by non-professional actors, who evolve in a world that is both real and hallucinated. Using a narrative style close to magic realism, the film explores the subjects of marginality, social justice and the search for a place in the world.
Although violence is a recurring theme throughout the film, it is more suggested than explicit. With the exception of the old man who takes in the teenagers, every male character is imbued with violence. The female characters though represent tenderness, gentleness, understanding and motherhood.
The phantasmagorical journey of the teenagers follows a chronology that is sometimes floating, hazy and incongruous, as if time, traversed by delirium and imagination, was losing its transcendence. In certain scenes, for example, when the friends are travelling in a lorry, the surrounding sound morphs into an omnipresent drone that reinforces the dreamy, wispy atmosphere.
In the opening sequence, we see a white horse in the middle of a deserted street. The horse reappears several times and accompanies the group of friends until the end of their journey.
In many cultures, the white horse is the mount of heroes, but it also symbolises belonging to the world of the dead.
The cinematography, under the direction of David Gallego, is a striking aspect of the film. The camera seems to become a creature in its own right as it follows the group of teenagers on their journey. Affected by the same emotions as the characters, it is fast and energetic when they are agitated while becoming quiet and attentive when the group is calm.
In certain scenes, such as the one where Culebro steals the group’s provisions, the camera chooses to be discreet, showing the action from a distance and emphasising the space in which the characters move. These long shots are used at several points in the film and contribute to its lyricism.
In the final scene, the camera is no longer focused on the action. The action becomes comprehensible only through sound.
By the same author: