I Promise You Anarchy (Te Prometo Anarquia) meanders through the seamy underbelly of Mexico City with the feel of a modern crime drama coupled with gay romance and skateboarding. Miguel (Diego Calva Hernández), the main protagonist, wears a necklace looped through plastic vampire teeth which signifies both his exploitative nature and uncontrollable hunger for sex. He lives inside an empty oil tanker with his “boyfriend” Johnny (Eduardo Eliseo Martinez), who is also openly dating a girl named Adri (Shvasti Calderón).

To support this wayward life style, Miguel, Johnny, and friends donate blood to a decidedly sketchy outfit. The equipment leaks blood on the floor and it is not clear who is the beneficiary of the blood and why they are willing to pay top-dollar for it. When word comes that the higher-ups are willing to pay 3000 pesos per “cow”; Miguel and Johnny start gathering up friends and strangers alike to take advantage of the windfall.

The pair traverse the streets on their skateboards, and stop often to practice tricks and banter at each other. They are generally care-free and playful even as they hurl epithets at each other, but there is also a decided tension between the two. It is intimated that Johnny is bad for Miguel but that Johnny is just hopelessly in love. Ultimately, the lucrative deal sours and disrupts the lives of everyone involved – especially Miguel and Johnny. The final act is decidedly the weakest, as it relies on some confusing and coincidental plot elements to complete the story.

Writer/director Julio Hernández Cordón has crafted an intriguing piece of realism here. Almost every character feels cut from the very streets of Mexico, and the length of the shots lends the film a documentary-like aesthetic. It is a solid film overall, but suffers slightly from a few bizarre choices.

Friday, June 3, 10:00 PM, TIFF Bell Lightbox

Tickets can be purchased at the Inside Out website.

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