Contemporary World Cinema

X500

Juan Andrés Arango

Xquinientos 02

Set in Mexico, Colombia and Canada, the second feature by Juan Andres Arango (La Playa DC) follows the stories of three unrelated migrants who each experience the death of a loved one, and must undergo both mental and physical transformations in order to deal with their grief and find a new place for themselves in the world.

Set in Mexico, Colombia, and Canada, X500 (formerly X Quinientos) tells the stories of three young migrants, each of whom goes through a metamorphosis following the death of a loved one. Thousands of kilometers apart, their paths never cross but rather echo one another thematically, combining to create a panoramic survey of personal change in vastly different surroundings.

Maria (Jembie Almazan) is a Filipino woman who recently moved to Montreal with her grandmother and is now trying to find her place in the community and her new country. David (Bernardo Garnica Cruz) leaves his rural Mexican town to get to the city, where the physically demanding job he finds leads him to befriend a gay punk who guides him into an alternative life. Colombian fisherman Alex (Jonathan Diaz Angulo) wants to make an honest living to support his family, but can't break his involvement with the criminal gangs that run the area. The violence that permeates each character's milieu proves difficult to escape — especially when engaging in that very violence seems the easiest path to acceptance. All three of them will undergo mental, emotional, and even physical transformations in order to make their way in their new worlds.

With stunning cinematography and compassionate storytelling, director Juan Andrés Arango strikingly captures the rich environments and physicality of his protagonists, ensuring that this wide-reaching story remains rooted in the uniqueness of the places and people at its centre.

MAGALI SIMARD

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