The second feature from Colombian director Oscar Ruiz Navia (Crab Trap) follows two young street artists as they explore the vibrant and exciting milieu of the director’s hometown of Cali.
Oscar Ruiz Navia
A sweet-natured look at young adults in search of both a good time and a higher purpose, Colombian director Oscar Ruiz Navia's follow-up to his winsome feature debut, the 2009 Festival selection Crab Trap, has a big heart and a punk rock spirit.
Street artists Ras and Calvin are good friends and partners in crime. With limited prospects but big ambitions to alter their local surroundings for the better, the two young men traverse Cali on bike and skateboard, scouting for surfaces to decorate with whatever paint they can scavenge. Inspired by news of the Arab Spring uprisings, they dream of collaborating on a vast mural that will express solidarity with Egypt's student demonstrators, echoing the sentiment "We will never be silent again." But will Ras and Calvin ever get the chance to have their voices heard?
Driven by a charming, infectious curiosity about its characters and their world, Los Hongos follows Ras and Calvin through conversations, art classes, parties, fumbling attempts at sex, inspired graffiti sessions, and family visits. Some of the loveliest sequences detail the boys' charming, complex interactions with their kin: Ras quietly enduring his mother's well-intentioned attempts to set him on the right path, or Calvin having a laugh with his father, an attorney more interested in bellowing boleros with his buddies than practising law.
Bursting with colour and music, Los Hongos is also a love letter to Ruiz Navia's hometown of Cali, a multi-faceted location under-represented in contemporary cinema. As Ras and Calvin explore Cali's streets and leave their mark on its underpasses and alleyways, Ruiz Navia's film bears witness to a new generation gradually finding its place in a rapidly changing world.