Monos

Directed by Alejandro Landes
2019
102 minutes
Unclassified 15+
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Alejandro Landes’ incendiary allegory follows child soldiers holding a female doctor hostage in a remote jungle location. Special Jury Award, Sundance.

A film of lush visuals and raw emotion, Monos adopts the personality of a twisted fairy-tale. Invoking the thematic core of Lord of the Flies, it comments on the dehumanising effect of war and the seemingly endless cycles of violence in many South American nations. But there's no 'once upon a time' here, as Brazilian-born Colombian filmmaker Landes transports audiences to an unnamed mountain jungle in Latin America that can best be described as hell on earth. Teenagers with names such as "Wolf", "Lady", "Rambo" and "Dog" are holding captive an adult prisoner they call Doctora (Julianne Nicholson, excellent). These emotionally destroyed youngsters answer to a shadowy group known as The Organisation. (It's worth noting here that child soldiers brainwashed by the Khmer Rouge were instructed to obey Angkar, which translates as The Organisation). The fracturing of power and breakdown of loyalties in the soldier group is masterfully depicted, alongside Doctora's attempt to master her own version of psychological warfare and break free. This feral and furious drama is set to a score by Mica Levi (Under the Skin) that brilliantly places otherworldly sounds into the nightmare we're watching.

Official Competition director biography: Alejandro Landes is a Colombian director, writer and producer. His directorial debut Cocalero premiered at Sundance in 2007 and was theatrically released in over 20 countries, while his second feature Porfirio premiered in the Quinzaine des Réalisateurs at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival. Monos is his third feature film.

An unwavering visual and psychological dare that illustrates the surreal nature of war … Nicholson delivers a stunning performance in the demanding shoes of Doctora.
Tomris Laffly, RogerEbert.com
Something between 'Apocalypse Now', 'Lord of the Flies' and 'Embrace of the Serpent'.
Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian

Tickets

Mon 10 June
6:20pm
State Theatre
Book Tickets Cancel
Tue 11 June
4pm
State Theatre
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Sat 15 June
6:45pm
Dendy Newtown
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Program Strand
Official Competition, Festival Hits, Latin America
Year
2019
Classification
Unclassified 15+
Country
Colombia, Argentina, The Netherlands, Germany, Sweden, Uruguay
Language
In Spanish and English with English subtitles
Director
Alejandro Landes
Producer
Fernando Epstein, Alejandro Landes, Santiago Zapata, Cristina Landes
Cast
Julianne Nicholson, Moises Arias, Julian Giraldo
Screenwriter
Alejandro Landes, Alexis Dos Santos
Cinematographer
Jasper Wolf
Editor
Ted Guard, Yorgos Mavropsaridis, Santiago Otheguy
Premiere
Australian Premiere
Genre
Fantasy & Sci-Fi, Politics & Economics, Latin America, Cinephile, Off-Beat
Company Credits
Distributor: Madman Entertainment
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