Directed by Alejandro Landes
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,
Something between 'Apocalypse Now', 'Lord of the Flies' and 'Embrace of the Serpent'.
Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian


Mon 10 June
State Theatre
Past Event Cancel
Tue 11 June
State Theatre
Past Event Cancel
Sat 15 June
Dendy Newtown
Past Event Cancel
Program Strand
Official Competition, Festival Hits, Latin America
Unclassified 15+
Colombia, Argentina, The Netherlands, Germany, Sweden, Uruguay
In Spanish and English with English subtitles
Alejandro Landes
Fernando Epstein, Alejandro Landes, Santiago Zapata, Cristina Landes
Julianne Nicholson, Moises Arias, Julian Giraldo
Alejandro Landes, Alexis Dos Santos
Jasper Wolf
Ted Guard, Yorgos Mavropsaridis, Santiago Otheguy
Australian Premiere
Fantasy & Sci-Fi, Politics & Economics, Latin America, Cinephile, Off-Beat
Company Credits
Distributor: Madman Entertainment
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