“As far as the eye can see, it’s all owned by someone.”
The Kings of the World is the latest International Feature submission for Colombia. Director Laura Mora’s latest film is a stunning depiction of family, injustices, survival, and a journey into the "promised land."
The film is about five young boys, Brayan, Winny, Sere, Nano and Culebro, all teenagers, all homeless without any families. Brayan, who is 19, is the father figure for these young men as the live on the streets of Medellin. They’ve formed a fraternal clan.
Brayan has received a letter from the Land Restitution Program that he’s inherited a piece of land given to him by his late grandmother. Thousands of Colombians were violently expelled by paramilitaries and now the government is giving the rightful owners their properties back.
The five boys decide to make the dangerous journey from Medellin to a small town in Nechi, around 8 hours away, to finally reclaim a property that belongs to Brayan, that belongs to them. But life isn’t easy and things don’t go according to their plan as they venture into the Colombian interior.
Mora has delicately told a beautiful, heartbreaking story about a group of men who have no one but themselves, who have no possessions, “but that’s the life we were given,” according to Brayan. “In my own perfect world, you don’t exist if you don’t want to.” This small piece of land in Nechi is the opportunity to finally own something, to finally feel like they belong somewhere. They dream of having a safe place to live, a safe place to create something, to begin again.
Led by the incredible performance from Carlos Andres Castaneda, The Kings of the World showcases a glimpse into a world where laws don’t exist, where there is disobedience and resistance, where finding a roof and food for the day is the only thing that matters, where there is injustice, where the majority of people just want the basic necessities. This is a movie about brotherhood and the importance of sticking to what you believe in. It is the desire for a better life, to feel like kings of the world.