Program 19: Cola de Mono
Directed by Alberto Fuguet
For many, Christmas Eve is full of warm family gatherings and joyful festivities. But for Borja and his older brother Vicente, Christmas Eve 1986 would instead be an indelible night of life-changing sexual discovery.
A playful and eccentric teenager, Borja is never afraid to say whatever crosses his mind. His father has recently died, leaving mom melancholy when sober and downright nasty once she starts drinking the homemade Cola de Mono – a traditional Chilean Christmas drink laced with copious amounts of alcohol. Once Christmas Eve dinner has concluded, she settles into an alcohol and Valium induced slumber. Freed from mom’s insults for the rest of the evening, 18-year-old Vicente slips out and heads for the local cruising park in search of his first sexual encounter. That leaves Borja to fend for himself. Bored, the underwear-clad teenager flips aimlessly through his new Stephen King novels, debates whether or not it would be prudent to share his Cola de Mono with his stuffed gremlin toy (it is after midnight after all), and eventually he decides to break into his brother’s bedroom. Once inside, he explores Vicente’s underwear drawer and secret stash of porn magazines before turning his attention to the floor-length mirror and exploring himself.
Cola de Mono is fearless filmmaking, never shying away from an opportunity to shock its audience. Real-life brothers Cristóbal and Santiago Rodriguez-Costabal turn in courageous performances as Borja and Vicente, demonstrating remarkable emotional range and raw sexuality. Director Alberto Fuguet strikes a perfect chord as he delicately juxtaposes the relative innocence of a teenager’s bedroom with an extended – and very sexy – bathhouse scene. Equally erotic and disturbing, Cola de Mono is the thought-provoking thrill ride that everyone will be talking about long after the festival has ended.
— Stephen K. Weisenreder
AWARDS & ACCOLADES
- JURY AWARD – Outfest Los Angeles LGBTQ Film Festival
- OFFICIAL SELECTION – Galway Film Fleadh