The volatile relationship between a wayward teen and his disapproving father (father (Alejandro Goic, star of Pablo Larraín’s The Club) comes to a head when the boy seeks shelter from the police, in the new feature from Chilean writer-director Fernando Guzzoni (Dog Flesh).
Nothing comes easily to Santiago teen Jesús (Nicolás Durán). His group has just lost the local battle of the boy bands, he can't seem to finish high school or keep track of money, and his widower father (Alejandro Goic, last seen at the Festival in Pablo Larraín's The Club) is fed up with his inertia. Uncertain what path to take, Jesús is trapped in a dead-end cycle of getting wasted with his buddies and looking for trouble.
The boys are partying in a cemetery one night when things get out of hand and they gang up on a defenceless kid, beating him badly. The next day Jesús learns that the kid's in a coma and the police are searching for those responsible. Desperate to avoid both the authorities and his friends, he has no choice but to turn to his father for help. But how far should a father be expected to go to protect a child when that child is as lost as Jesús?
Writer-director Fernando Guzzoni's follow-up to Dog Flesh, his sensational fiction feature debut (which also starred the rivetingly intense Goic), provides no simple resolutions for the moral quandaries it raises. But even so, the rich chiaroscuro images of the young men's activities — whether they're traipsing randomly through the night, partying hard, or watching narco snuff porn — bring us ever closer to understanding where these boys are coming from. Jesús is a startling, humane film that depicts the dark side of adolescent aimlessness and takes us to the frontier dividing loyalty and justice.
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