QUICK TAKES | “This is not Berlin,” playing at Tribeca Festival soon

After premiering at the Sundance Film Festival last January, “This is not Berlin” (“Esto no es Berlín” in the original Spanish), the fifth feature by writer-director Hari Sama, will have its New York premiere at the upcoming Tribeca Festival, as part of its inaugural Tribeca Critics’ Week slate. The festival takes place during April 24 – May 5, 2019.

A persuasive autobiographical bildungsroman, the film boasts a great ensemble cast headed by Xabiani Ponce de León and José Antonio Toledano, along with the Academy Award® nominee and “Roma” star Marina de Tavira.

Set in Mexico in 1986, as the country gets ready for the World Cup, the film follows seventeen year-old Carlos, an introverted young man who doesn’t fit in anywhere, whether with his family or at school. Everything changes when he’s invited to the Aztec, a buzzy Mexico City nightclub where he discovers the underground nightlife scene, post-punk, sexually fluid, and fueled by drugs. Carlos’s awakening will challenge his relationship with his best friend, Gera, the brother of his crush, Rita, while helping him discover his passion for experimental art and lead him into adulthood.

With notable art direction and a knockout soundtrack “This is not Berlin” provides ans instructive portrait of Mexico City in the eighties, that is to say, in an era of deep political, social, and cultural change. Sama’s energetic film introduces the accomplished Mexican filmmaker to international audiences with this sincere story about youth, discovery and self-realization.

Rudy Cecera will be at the Tribeca Festival and will tell you about all the people he’ll meet and the movies he got to watch (@Rcomwrit22)