You may remember Julio Hernández Cordón as the Mexican-Guatemalan director who somehow brought together a traditional marimba player on the run from MS-13, a local heavy metal pioneer, and a glue-sniffing ne’er-do-well in a surreal take on Guatemalan folkloric music called Marimbas del infierno (Marimbas From Hell). That, of course, is both the title of his deadpan hilarious docu-fiction feature debut, and the name of the band formed by this ragtag trio over the course of the film. The idea was just crazy enough to earn the film screenings at top festivals like San Sebastián, Toronto, and Miami, where it won the Grand Jury Prize in the Ibero-American competition.
And now we have a trailer for his highly anticipated follow up to Marimbas, entitled Te prometo anarquía (I Promise You Anarchy), which brings Hernández Cordón to the streets of Mexico City for a tale of twisted adolescence, free love, and reprehensible crime. The feature follows a middle-class teen skateboard fanatic who carries on an illicit affair with the son of his family’s maid, who simultaneously carries on an affair with a young woman named Adri. In the tense shadow of this uncomfortable love triangle, the two spend their days skating, making love, doing drugs, and selling their blood on the black market, until the promise of easy cash finds them caught up in a shady scheme that goes way deeper than they could have ever expected.
Suggestions of mass kidnapping and human trafficking situate I Promise You Anarchy’s storyline at the intersection of the personal and the political, with Mexico’s own experience with mass disappearance still fresh in the minds of both the country and the world at large. This time around Hernández Cordón seems to have dropped his more comedic inclinations and instead focuses his stylistic flair on the erotic, with racy scenes of lovemaking that have earned the director critical accolades since the film first premiered earlier this year at Locarno. The trailer makes it all seem like an unsettling mashup of Y tú mamá también and Gus Van Sant’s Paranoid Park, with an eye for Mexico City cityscapes that’s all Hernández Cordón’s own.
Te prometo anarquía is slated to screen in November at the Los Cabos Film Festival in its “Mexican Primero” competition.