Mexican film ‘Los Lobos’, a portrait of childhood and migration

Photo: (Trigon)

MEXICO, (June 03, 2021).- A piece of the life of the Mexican director Samuel Kishi was the inspiration to portray social issues such as motherhood and childhood in migration under the microscope through his film “Los Lobos”.

“I tried to talk about resilience, I always saw this family as wounded wolves who are looking for a place to take shelter. I tried to portray issues such as home, identity, the search for solidarity, and people with different migratory situations, ” Kishi tells Efe talking about his film that premieres in theaters on June 10.

Max and Leo wait for their mother, Lucia, to return from a working day after day locked in an austere apartment located in a migrant zone in the United States.

While that happens, the brothers play, fight, create imaginary worlds with their drawings and learn lessons that Lucia leaves them recorded on an old tape recorder in the hope that by following the rules imposed by their mother, she will soon take them to Disneyland.

The story of these two children is based on the story of Samuel, his brother, and his mother, however, it describes the lives of thousands of migrant women and children who have crossed the border in search of better opportunities.

The Mexican film "Los lobos", a portrait of childhood and migration
Photograph provided by PinPoint, where a fragment of the film “Los lobos” is observed. Photo: (EFE)

“I wrote the anecdote and in the early stages of the story’s development it was difficult to walk away and let the characters flourish and stop being my story,” he recalls.

For that, in addition to interviewing his mother and his brother Kenji, who served as the film’s musical director, he approached many other migrant stories, worked with more scriptwriters, and gave the actors the freedom to create their own characters.

Los Lobos" howl for its premiere on the Mexican billboard - Paudal
Photo: (Paudal)

Save the memory

So far, there are 30 countries in which “Los Lobos” continues to be presented and is currently part of the Argentine Human Rights Film Festival.

This is Kishi’s second feature film after “Somos Mari Pepa” (2013) and both films were part of the Berlin International Film Festival.

If in 2013 the director revisited his adolescence and thanked his grandmother with the film for being close to him, in “Los Lobos” he wrote a “love letter” to his mother, far from idealizations.

“The two (films) have one thing in common which is an exercise in memory, in ‘Somos Mari Pepa’ Alex documents his adolescence with his video camera and in ‘Los Lobos this is documented by a tape recorder that belonged to his grandfather. I am very interested in memory in cinema, it seems to me that it is a memory and empathy machine ”, he says.

In the film, the director also portrays metaphors such as the path to self-sufficiency, with situations as simple as learning to tie your shoelaces, and questions the true meaning of home and belonging.

Los Lobos movie - Posts | Facebook
Photo: (Facebook)

A real woman outside the stereotype

When Martha Reyes first read the script, she realized that Lucia, her character, was not a real woman.

“In that first version of the script, the mother was a stereotype of a mother, she was tired but she would come home smiling to make dinner, she would read them stories and I said: this is kind of weird if she comes from work to other concerns at home, I don’t think she was smiling at all, “Reyes tells.

One of the main concerns of the actress was to show a woman of flesh and blood with whom many women felt identified and for this, Martha went beyond fiction to know firsthand the difficulties that women go through.

Los lobos – trigon-film.org
Photo: (Trigon)

“I was working cleaning houses and offices and I met many migrant women, most of them were single mothers and they had their children locked up in their homes and I realized that it was something normal,” she says.

As for Maximiliano and Leonardo Nájar, both confess that they had a lot of fun “with Martha and the children who appeared in the film,” says Max, and they were the two chosen from a ‘casting’ in which more than 900 children participated.

Source: San Diego Union Tribune

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