By Hipolito Munoz, Managing Editor/Publisher
“La Region Salvaje” (The Untamed), is necessarily weird and over the top. Much of its science fiction images are remainders of a comic book area where alien snatchers brought dangerous gifts, that humans cannot resist because the address the most basic desire; pleasure. The over the tip comic aspect of the unnatural interactions allows for a more mundane and troubling story to be told graphically.
Director Amat Escalante, whose background is in film editing and sound design, uses these two forms to bring the simple visuals to a rousing crescendo. The stories are deeply moving and disturbing. The family setting creates a discomfort that at times terrorizes the senses because of the actions of simple folks living an ordinary life and longing for extraordinary experiences.
This film brings to practical reality many of the challenges faced by a citizenry that is under siege from political ignorance and deception and violence that is celebrated because it seems simple and attainable. The confused sexuality and boredom of the characters is not hidden it is front and center, there is no question what is happening in front of our eyes and it is so well designed that there is no need for prurient deception for the audience to overcome the discomfort it engages. The most innocent and damning element is the lack of remorse, the “pues ni modo” element that two elderly characters play in the film. Mexico is not suffering because of its youth, its gay, its religious fervor, it is suffering because of the acceptance and promotion of norms that mature and elderly citizens adopt and promote with no thought.
This film is not for the squeamish and its not for those seeking light entertainment. It is a film that will bring the audience to a state of shock and sadness. It presents a community that is engrossed in its need to escape, and has no idea where to look.