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I’m No Longer Here

(Mexico, English Subtitles). Ulises is the leader of a small “gang”, Los Terkos, who dance cumbia, a musical style that emerged in Colombia during the slave trade. Ulises is forced to flee from his city of Monterrey to New York City, where he tries to establish a new life. The film hops back and forth between the story of why he had to leave Mexico and his various experiences trying to make it as an undocumented resident of the city. There is a kind of poetry here in the movie that I really liked, and how the dancing connects his old and new lives while trying to make it in NY and the earlier times when he was the unmistaken dance leader of Los Terkos. The dancing seems to be a fusion of more traditional dance that we see among US native tribes, and the dancing at times reminded me as well of the breakdancing subculture. The actor who plays Ulises is wonderful. The experiences Ulises had in NYC were not always as well developed and powerful as they could be, but much of the film’s beauty resulted from the contrasts between his life in Monterrey and his life of trying to scrape by in the US. Big thumbs up from me – this film is Mexico’s Best International Film entry for the 93rd Academy Awards, and it is carried by Netflix! (2020; 4 Stars)

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