Approx advert and trailer run time: 25 mins
Film run time: 1h 42 mins
Beautiful, feral, confounding, hallucinatory, unsettling, enticing – all these and more, Monos, from director Alejandro Landes, proves to be a film that deftly eludes categorisation.
High on a mountain in remote part of South America a prisoner of war is being guarded by a group of child soldiers. They play games, train, dance, flirt with each other and fight boredom as they await further instructions. However, they are mostly excited by the arrival of a cow called Shakira, which they are to care for and milk.
As a society operating without the influence of the outside world, the children of Monos have started to develop their own rituals and traditions, and divisions within the group are evident even before an attack forces the kids to flee into the jungle.
Influenced by Apocalypse Now but tonally somewhere between Aguirre, Wrath of God and Lord of The Flies, Monos manages to stand as its own unique beast. The title has a double meaning, referring both to the Spanish word for monkey and the Greek word for alone.
An immersive percussive score by Mica Levi (who also did the music for Under the Skin and Jackie) adds to the claustrophobia.
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