Run time: 102 mins
A fearsome group of teenage guerrillas enter the heart of darkness in Alejandro Landes’ visceral, visually captivating portrait of adolescence and survival.
High up in the Andes under the watchful eye of a group known as The Organisation, a ragtag assembly of child soldiers idle away their youth with machine guns and mischief. When an unexpected ambush forces the unit and their American hostage deep into the jungle, childish recklessness descends into primal anarchy as they fracture and spiral out of control.
Flecked with the unmistakable, deranged energy of both Apocalypse Now and Lord of the Flies, Monos conjures a stranger, richer, unique take on the subject of war and its casualties. Landes and cinematographer Jasper Wolf create a breathtaking sense of place in the lush natural scenery of the mountains and the jungle, landscapes teeming with life even as their inhabitants are haunted by death and destruction. Controlled and affecting, manic and menacing, this is a film that engages your senses and then removes them from their comfort zones,
A blistering white knuckle ride, Monos is unquestionably one of this year’s best. (Research Chris Coetsee)