Los Angeles: Berlin Review

Atmospherically set in a Zapotec village in southern Mexico, Damian John Harper’s debut centers on a 17-year-old preparing to plunge into gang culture.

Exploring the tragic conflict between traditional community life in rural southern Mexico and the far-reaching tentacles of gang violence, Los Angeles is an absorbing if familiar drama from first-time writer-director Damian John Harper. Following the model of Italian neorealism, locals play versions of themselves in this heartfelt story of migration as experienced by those who stay behind. But despite the specificity of its Oaxaca setting, the German-produced film evokes too many minor variations on similar themes, without hitting enough new notes...


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