“I PROMISE YOU ANARCHY”— Friends and Lovers

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“I Promise You Anarchy “  (“Te Prometo Anarquia”)

Friends and Lovers

Amos Lassen

“I Promise You Anarchy” and director Julio Hernandez Cordon pay tribute to film noir with this story about Miguel (Calva Diego Hernández) and Johnny (Eduardo Martínez Peña), two childhood friends living in the capital of Mexico. They roam the city streets on a skateboard during the day and at night they are lovers who explore new sensations.

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To earn money, they regularly sell their blood on the Black Market black to a nurse (Gabriel Casanova) who is also acts as a functioning moral compass. Their life changes when a large sum is proposed for a large amount of blood. When this goes awry, Miguel’s mother sends him away from the city and away from Johnny. It is then that Miguel has to find the way to meet his fate.

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We watch realism alternating with noir in this film and I really did not want this film to end. The two leads are played by non-professional actors and they amazingly portray the feelings that they go through in the film. The cinematography is unique and fascinates us with the many images that we see. Here is a story that deals with both cowardice and temptation that holds us spellbound as the story unfolds.

Teenage Miguel has two major passions in his life— one is his boyfriend Johnny who just happens to be the son of his wealthy family’s maid, and skateboarding. Whilst Johnny may share these passions, he also has a very jealous girlfriend too.  They all live in Mexico City albeit in quite opposite settings as Johnny is living rough on the streets and always on the look out to make some easy money.

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These two young men jump at the chance of getting involved with some petty criminal plot that involves rounding up some desperately poor people off the streets to illegally donate blood to some drug gangsters. There is good money to be made, but on this particular occasion the deal goes horribly wrong when armed thugs suddenly herd the donors into a truck and just simply drive them away never to be heard off again.

When the boys go off to search for an explanation from the middle man who set the deal up, things go from bad to worse as they take matters into their own hands. Johnny betrays his one-time boyfriend and subsequently is left with no other choice than to immediately get out of town as soon and possible.

 

The film insinuates that it is a potential gay romance but instead it becomes an ill-conceived and rather messy crime noir drama that does not hold up. The cast consists of amateurs that Hernandez recruited via the pages of Facebook yet they give a rawness to the piece that at least has a very visual stylish look to it.

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Writer/Director Hernandez Cordon seems to be primarily interested in photographing non-pro actors skateboarding around the city. Unfortunately, this does not help the film. Miguel and Johnny live in a constant present, loving each other clumsily, as they beg for a bit of emotion in an urban and brutal world. They are in a post-adolescent limbo inhabited by impatient skater tribes who blindly try to find love through sex and seek hope in drugs, as they turn blood trafficking into a business. This is a desolated, apocalyptic and current Mexico. Miguel holds on to both his ingenuousness, hoping it would cure him, and to love, which is the only thing that cannot be bought or sold and the only way to open the doors into a world of dreams that would take him away from the sad world that he lives in.

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