Sujo (2024) ‘Sundance’ Movie Review: A piercing coming-of-age drama about identification and the repercussions of cartel violence 

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The filmmaking duo of Astrid Rondero & Fernanda Valadez, after their 2022 double Award-winning Identifying Features, are again to Sundance with ‘Sujo,’ one other assured and quietly highly effective cartel drama. Premiered within the World Cinema Dramatic Competition part, the most recent collaboration from Rondero and Valadez is a piercing coming-of-age drama about identification and the repercussions of cartel violence. In a time when hundreds of children in Mexico are falling prey to the drug conflict – leaving them with a life that turns into all about making an attempt their finest to repel the circle of violence, the movie talks concerning the transcendental energy of desires and the way they carry us alongside. 

Using magic real looking thrives that made Identifying Features really feel haunting and mystical, Sujo follows the dying of a famend sicario from a small Mexican city. The premature dying leaves his four-year-old son Sujo orphaned and on the kill lists of his contemporaries. While he is ready to escape the wrath of his father’s killer – because of his aunt, the life he’s pressured to reside is considered one of isolation. 

His aunt Nemesia (performed with utmost depth by Yadira Perez) prefers dwelling within the countryside, away from all of the violence that goes on. She is self-sufficient strong-headed, and tries to deliver Sujo up in a means that shields him from the entrapments of the town. Apart from the occasional visits from his cousins and his different aunt, Sujo just isn’t allowed to go to highschool or to the city. The isolation develops a sort of rebellious nature in him that’s additional fueled by the angsty teenage spirit that his cousins need him to pursue – thus main him on a path that’s fairly much like that of his father.

A still from Sujo (2024).
A nonetheless from Sujo (2024).

Will Sujo fall into the identical traps that his father did, or will he escape them? Rather than exploring and albeit exploiting the identical story we’ve got typically seen, Rondero and Valadez are extra enthusiastic about what shapes an individual’s identification. Broken into three chapters which might be outlined by the those who Sujo meets by way of his journey, the movie partakes in observing what actually pushes and pulls an individual in direction of and away from violence. 

Sujo is a silent boy with little or no to no emotional outbursts. So, to be able to perceive such a personality, it’s essential perceive his environment first. The director duo could be very explicit in not creating too many emotional cues of their story and permitting the naturalistic setting to take over. Even although violence is all the time on the cusp – other than a sequence within the second act, they by no means really dive into the horrors of it. Which is what makes this observant and delicate coming-of-age story all of the extra highly effective. 

Gorgeously shot, with highly effective performances from Juan Jesus Verala, Yadia Perez & Sandra Lorenzano, Sujo is a movie that believes within the thought of inherent kindness – whether or not it’s within the title we feature or the desires we dream. 

Sujo performs within the World Cinema Dramatic Competition part on the 2024 Sundance Film Festival.

Sujo (2024) Movie Links: IMDb, Rotten Tomatoes
Sujo (2024) Movie Cast: Juan Jesús Varela, Yadira Pérez, Sandra Lorenzano
Sujo (2024) Movie Genre: Drama | Runtime: 2h 6 Mins

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