SOMOS MARI PEPA

WE ARE MARI PEPA

 

A film by Samuel Kishi Leopo

Mexico, 2013, 95 minutes

Toulouse - LE PRIX CCAS

Berlinale - Generation, European Premiere

Morelia - Official Competition

Alex is one of four Guadalajara best mates who comprise the titular garage-punk band. Never mind that they can barely play their instruments or that they only have one song (albeit a great one, a joyfully obscene ode to "Natasha" whose rare quotable line runs, "I'm never going to Mass again if you don't gimme some of that"). When not "rehearsing," they do typical teenage-boy stuff: skateboarding, ogling women and kicking the ball around. For Alex, anything seems preferable to staying home, where he is the target for his elderly, mute, pious grandmother's constant disapproval. But this sixteenth summer is going to be a game-changer as that home situation suddenly grows unstable and other major life changes (both happy and otherwise) are afoot. Samuel Kishi's autobiographically-inspired first feature starts out like a boys' equivalent to Lukas Moodyson's WE ARE THE BEST!, all juvenile high spirits, and then grows more soulful as it goes along. It is a personal (yet universal) coming-of-age story that never feels less than bracingly fresh.