This week at MIFF2018, we’re watching Tigers are Not Afraid by Issa López, a dark fairytale about children in Mexico trying to survive the cartels. Via Slashfilm:
How Issa López’s Tigers Are Not Afraid has played some fourteen film festivals and still doesn’t have distribution outside Mexico is astonishing. Her spectacularly moving childhood journey bursts with Guillermo del Toro parallels, corpse-risen terror and emotional hard-knocks that’ll both singe and chill your core. A snapshot of Mexico’s darkest drug cartel infection told entirely from a minor’s perspective with uncompromising bleakness and fable-fancy spirit. Themes of young lives being failed on a daily basis, and how “survival” means something unthinkably different south of the border.
This is a movie that demands to be seen, heard, and discussed as often as possible – that’s a promise.
Young Paola Lara stars as Estrella, a Mexican girl who so desperately wishes her missing mother would return home. She has no family, no means of living, and that’s when she meets a local street-boy named Shine (Juan Ramón López). His gang of orphaned equals live on rooftops and hide from dangerous abductors because once you’re taken by the cartel, you don’t return. Caco (Ianis Guerrero) plays right-hand to the area’s kingpin and hopeful elected official El Chino (Tenoch Huerta), who finds himself in hot water when Shine jacks the thug’s cell phone. This is at the same time Estrella starts to see foreboding visions of her mother (nightmarish conjurings), and right before El Chino’s goons slap a target on the already endangered children.
In other words, just the beginning of a somehow even more savage “you wish it was dystopian” narrative.