The first Colombian film to be selected for competition at Cannes, RODRIGO D. - NO FUTURE accurately portrays the reckless existence of disenfranchised teenagers in one of the most dangerous cities in Latin America, if not the world--Medellin, Colombia. Victor Manuel Gaviria's feature
debut is a disturbing and frightening look at teenage culture, one with universal overtones.
Rodrigo D. (Ramiro Meneses) sets out from his home in the barrio hoping to join forces with a punk rock band. An aspiring drummer, he cannot afford to buy drums but manages to get a pair of drum sticks from a local cabinet shop. Rodrigo is a depressed character, alienated from his family and the
world. The local toughs he hangs out with also seem disconnected as they pursue their devious deeds. When not stalking the streets of the impoverished barrios scattered on the mountainsides of the city, the youths escape to the surrounding countryside itself. Their aimless wanderings reflect the
world they live in. Riding their stolen motorbikes, they are the outlaws of the community, taking what they want at gun point. Their bleak surroundings nurture their anger and volatile behavior. They are hopelessly trapped in the cycle of violence and drugs which is an ongoing lifestyle in
Medellin, the murder capital of the world.
Similar to PIXOTE, Hector Babenco's grim drama set in the slums of Sao Paulo, the young men who portray the central characters in RODRIGO D.--NO FUTURE were drafted from the streets of Medellin. Similarly, their naturalistic, almost improvisational style of acting is excellent. In another tragic
parallel to PIXOTE, six of these local teens were killed after production of the film. RODRIGO D.--NO FUTURE can be compared favorably with neorealist classics THE BICYCLE THIEF and LOS OLVIDADOS, taking its place with those chronicles of the human condition in an eloquent and powerful style.
Victor Manuel Gaviria has captured with raw and powerful images the lives of these aimless wanderers as they drift towards their inevitable doom.
Cinematographer Rodrigo Lalinde captures with a grainy style the impoverished lives in the barrios. The screenplay, written by Elsa Vasquez, is understated, enhancing the verite style of the film. German Arrieta has added a frenetic punk rock soundtrack that reflects the action. All of these
ingredients make RODRIGO D.--NO FUTURE a relevant film of our times. (Violence, substance abuse, profanity, sexual situations.)
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- Released: 1991
- Rating: NR
- Review: The first Colombian film to be selected for competition at Cannes, RODRIGO D. - NO FUTURE accurately portrays the reckless existence of disenfranchised teenagers in one of the most dangerous cities in Latin America, if not the world--Medellin, Colombia. Vi… (more)