Review: Esto No Es Berlin (This is Not Berlin)(Interview with Director Hari Sama)


Title: This Is Not Berlin
MPAA Rating: TV-MA
Director: Hari Sama
Starring: Xabiani Ponce de León, José Antonio Toledano, Ximena Romo
Runtime: 1 hr 55 mins

What It Is: Young man Carlos (Ponce de León) is wondering where life will take him. Growing up in Mexico in the 1980s it’s obvious that life goes a certain way. When he’s introduced to a new way of seeing the world. Sex, drugs and Punk rock and roll. These are the things that have awakened Carlos. They have him wondering about himself. Whether he fits into what is expected of him as a man and what his sexual proclivities might be.

What We Think: Simply brilliant. The portrayal here of alienation is, as we mention in our interview with director Hari Sama (See Below), so accurate. Everything done here has an autobiographical feel and it is (now) my understanding that that was done purposefully. Our two lead performances are simply stellar and director Sama really gets the story he wants to tell. It’s beautifully shot. There’s a real sense of time and place within this. It’s the 80’s duh, right? When looking at the character psychology it all makes sense. Wrapped in a thin veil of the real the cinematography is wholly of its time but really hits.

Our Grade: A-, I’m only saddened I didn’t catch this at Sundance when we attended. It would’ve been in our Best of the Fest for sure. As it stands this is one you should definitely check out in limited release if it’s playing near you. As we promised Hari Sama in our interview below here’s another glowing review for a film that I utterly loved. One with its intentions in all the right places. Obviously, I recommend this film! To an extremely large degree. SEE IT ASAP!


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