We are Mari Pepa was born of the need to make a tribute to my grandmother, the neighborhood where I grow up, my friends and my multiple failed rock bands. Is a letter to my adolescence, to that difficult and weird age, full of doubts, and desolation. This story is showing through Alex,a 16 year old teenager living with his grandma has various plans to occupy himself during the summer: writing a new song with his rock band, finding a job and having his first sexual experience. He also becomes aware that his grandma is increasingly dependent on him. As summer draws on, Alex realizes that things are going to change forever and that he will have to grow up and learn to say goodbye.
“We Are Maripepa” is the first feature film by director Samuel Kishi and his producer Toiz Rodriguez, it was made in Guadalajara, México. It’s about four teenage friends Alex, Moy, Bolter and Rafa, better known as the “Maripepa” an amateur punk-rock band rehearsing new songs. The viewer can watch the changes in each of them, Alex, our main character, who lives with his grandmother, discovers that she is more and more dependent on him, the situations of our characters are revealed and developed on film, Thus, the film shows important moments of their life and growth. This is a film made by way of “Doc-Fic” (as says Fernando Birri, EICTV director on films that combine documentary and fiction) in the neighborhood where the director grew up, with friends and neighbors and protagonists, bits and extras that play themselves. The result is a story told in a simple and humorous way, with which many can identify and most importantly of all: can be moved by the film. The film never betrays it’s own style: docudrama, honest, simple, funny and “punk-rock”, either decreases or stops the dramatic progression rate. The result is a fun and memorable film with cinematic achievements worth mentioning: We Are Maripepa borders between fiction and reality, in this sense, the entire film (becoming very noticeable in some specific scenes) is making both converge, making form and substance join to impact the viewer and give a great film aesthetic experience. This achievement can be written very simply, but for this to work, you need a constant work with all the elements, from production, photography and, of course, the actors, so that the camera does not cause false reactions in people when recording. It’s a film that does not force reality but portrays it and uses it for it’s own advantage. It portrays the Mexican middle class, surrounds his characters in a context in which they interact and live their direct consequences, with all honesty, without exaggeration. It is noticeable that filmmakers are not apart of the context of the story they are telling, something that current Mexican cinema has as a big trouble, is not a failure in We Are Maripepa. The film also has another achievement: a story with which many can identify with, generates emotions, without being formal, solemn and stoic, while preserving the artistic quality of its realization. That is, it is not a pretentious film, as unfortunately we are used to seeing in our Mexican cinema, so, this, naturally, makes many people enjoy it. The dialogue is completely natural, colloquialisms, characters using part of their common way of speaking, there is no scandal or morbid look at it. Mexican films have the nasty habit of using rudeness with morbid and vulgar comic simplicity, We Are Maripepa uses this kind of dialogue to tell the story as if we were spectators of reality, it does in a neutral manner, without messing with stilted performances or inquisitive directing. We Are Maripepa is a film that has the great virtue that it is serious about itself, only to the point at which the viewer will enjoy it. That is, it is a film with an alternative filmmaking, story, structure and wants to find a new and personal way of producing and directing. It has important achievements in this sense, but the film never stops thinking about it’s audience and tells a fun emotional story with great quality. It is a highly recommended Mexican film that everyone can see and enjoy, made outside Mexico’s capitol, unpretentious and with all honesty of the authors, which will surely resonate with the audience, which is rare in Mexican film these days, which are increasingly in an erroneous search for reality, ending up in false, boring and distant films. It’s a great debut and I hope that Samuel Kishi makes a second movie soon, I think the audience, after seeing the film, would also like that.
Director: Samuel Kishi
Writers: Samuel Kishi, Sofía Gómez-Córdova (co-writer)
Stars: Alejandro Gallardo, Arnold Ramírez, Moisés Galindo
Release Date: 15 August 2014 (USA)
Also Known As: Suntem Mari Pepa!
Format : MPEG-4
Format profile : Base Media
Codec ID : isom (isom/iso2/avc1/mp41)
File size : 1.81 GiB
Duration : 1 h 34 min
Overall bit rate : 2 730 kb/s