A film by Theo Montoya
2022, 75 minutes
No. 402

A few years back, director Theo Montoya cast several people from Medellín’s queer scene for his first feature film, a vampire movie about a dystopian city where ghosts coexist with the living. He chose charismatic 21-year-old Camilo Najar for the starring role, but a week later Camilo died of an overdose. The director lost many friends in the same manner.

Montoya previously filmed a portrait of Camilo in his powerful, punky short Son of Sodom (2020). In Anhell69, he dives deeper into a no-future generation torn apart by drugs and suicide in a city defined by violence. All hope is gone, and getting stoned is all that’s left. Montoya sees Medellín as a ghost town lost in the mountains, a place where you can’t see the horizon, and from which you can never escape.

After attending more funerals than birthdays among his circle of friends, Montoya descends into an existential void. But he picks up the camera again anyway, and—in emulation of his great inspiration Victor Gaviria—makes a film without borders or genders: a “trans film” about all those people who don’t belong to anything or anyone.

Winner, Golden Dove, DOK Leipzig
Official Selection, Tribeca Film Festival
Official Selection, IDFA
Official Selection, Mar del Plata International Film Festival
Official Selection, World Film Festival of Bangkok

“Despite the unimaginable darkness at the center of the film, Montoya’s deep compassion for his subjects shines through the fog of grief, giving the film a sense of affection that nearly presents itself as a shadow of hopefulness. The result is a gorgeous and undefinable portrait of a community steeped in magical realism.” - Kari PaulThe Guardian

“a defiantly hybrid piece that’s cunning, challenging and sometimes confusing, seemingly conceived to play out on the border between life and death itself...Both in its editing and visually, Anhell69 is often striking”Jonathan HollandScreen Daily

“a pulsating blast of queer punk”Boyd van HoeijThe Film Verdict

“a lyrical documentary about paternal nostalgia, haunted love and death in a conflicted Medellín, between icons of Jesus Christ and posters of Britney Spears.”Carolina LacucciCINEMATOGRAPHE