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89 minutes · 2012
This Colombian mean-streets drama (2012) suffers from a rather jumbled script, but it's rescued by its easy authenticity and Luis Carlos Guevara's magnetic lead performance. He plays an Afro-Colombian teenager whose family has begun to splinter after being driven from the Pacific coast to Bogota by the ongoing civil war. His father has been killed, his ambitious older brother has just returned from Canada and may be going back soon, and his rudderless younger brother is being hunted by drug dealers after smoking the stash he was supposed to sell. Writer-director Juan Andres Arhas sets much of the action at a glassy, brightly lit mall where the protagonist works as a barber's apprentice, learning to shave designs into Afros; these attentively detailed sequences and the bouncing Afro-Caribbean hip-hop on the soundtrack are typical of the movie's vibrant street culture, which counteracts the downbeat story line. In Spanish with subtitles.

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