Q&A with director Oscar Ruiz Navia
Cali street artists Ras and Calvin are good friends and collaborators despite hailing from disparate backgrounds. While one takes art classes, the other steals paint from his job in order to tag whatever surfaces he can find. Inspired by the Arab Spring protests, the pair bands together with a group of graffiti artists in order to paint a tribute to the student demonstrators. Oscar Ruiz Navia’s second feature could be termed a coming-of-age film, but Los Hongos heads in unexpected directions: while possibilities of hooking up abound, the pair’s mutual interest in making a statement that might also push forward new ideas in their own country expands what we usually see in characters growing up on-screen. This moment in the lives of two kids figuring it out encompasses all the possibilities: family, friends, sex, art, and, when they least expect it, the prospect of doing something of value. Full of color and great music, Los Hongos comprises a charming and vibrant portrait of a young, lively Colombia.