Of all the films I have watched recently, Los Lobos possibly touched my heart the most. This 90-minute-long drama directed by co-writer Samuel Kishi is filled with humane emotions, a valuable asset to find these days.
As a single immigrant mother, Lucía (Martha Reyes Arias) has to work late and save as much money as possible. She can’t afford to send her boys, Max and Leo (real-life brothers Maximiliano and Leonardo Nájar Márquez), to daycare, so she leaves them in the small and really messed up flat during the day. She uses an old voice recorder to set some rules for the time she is gone and to teach the boys English. Although the situation is difficult for the siblings, they endure the loneliness within the cold walls of the flat, hoping that their mother is going to fulfill their only wish: going to Disneyland!
“…Lucía has to work late…[and] can’t afford to send her boys…to daycare…”
The narrative plays the least significant role in Los Lobos. It’s just a bedrock for the interactions of the characters and the flow of emotions throughout the movie. There are some plot twists that add a few thrills, but it’s clear that writers Kishi, Luis Briones, and Sofía Gómez-Córdova intended to create a sensitive visual poem filled with intense feelings, as opposed to telling a comprehensive story. The childish honesty of the boys fuels the beauty of the production. Most of the drama is dedicated to their daydreaming and games. Since they’re brothers in real life as well as in the film, the way they fight, play, and generally interact with one another is genuine. The boys are not acting, and that helps the viewer connect with the movie emotionally.
Lucía is another significant element to the success of Los Lobos. Thanks to her performance, the young and talented Martha Reyes Arias masterfully embodies the pain of carrying a heavy burden. Lucía’s life is nothing but working late and taking care of the boys. At the end of the day, when she’s finally all alone, she silently cries in the bathroom… it’s her only hobby. She knows that the whole Disneyland thing is a false promise and that sooner or later, Max and Leo will find out about the truth and consequently hate her for the long-lasting charade. The truth will destroy the only thing that is holding them together: love.
Los Lobos is like a short diary of less-privileged immigrants. Though the settings and characters are from a specific geographical and ethnic origin, the issues addressed by the filmmaker are prevalent, experienced by millions of immigrants all over the world. This universal appeal and incredible acting make the drama an absorbing watch.
Los Lobos screened at the 2021 MOOOV Film Festival.