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Rodrigo D: No futuro (1990)

Rodrigo and his friends are bored teenagers living in Medellin. Rodrigo wants to start a punk band. The youths mainly loaf around the hillside shanty towns and, for kicks, steal a bike or car, or shoot someone.



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Cast overview:
Ramiro Meneses ...
Rodrigo D
Carlos Mario Restrepo
Jackson Idrian Gallego
Vilma Díaz
Óscar Hernández
Irene de Galvis
Wilson Blandón
Leonardo Favio Sánchez
Johana Hernández


Rodrigo, a poor and troubled teenager in the barrios of Medellin, Colombia, struggles to find hope in a world ravaged by violence and chaos. An aspiring drummer in a punk band, he uses his music to try to drive the despair out of his head. Written by Brett Davis <mitova@earthlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Music





Release Date:

11 January 1991 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Rodrigo D: No Future  »

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User Reviews

No future, and only one way out..
22 October 2007 | by (Deutschland) – See all my reviews

There is no linear story to be found in this documentary style film from director Victor Gaviria, so fans of typical mainstream style films probably will not like this, very important film. "Rodrigo D. No Futuro" is basically a glimpse into the lives of a group of Medellin teenagers, living a pointless existence. With no opportunity for work, or escape, they spend their days hanging out in the streets, drinking, and sometimes robbing people who they see as being in a better position than themselves. Never having money unless they rob someone or sell some stolen goods, they have nothing, and nothing to lose. Rodrigo, according to his sister, is a bum, with no ambition, and no purpose in life. This is not really true, as he does have one dream, and that is to start a punk band. To do this, he needs a set of drums. Rodrigo is a likable character, and we want this guy to somehow realize his dream, to get his drums, to form the band, and to possibly find the way out of a bleak situation. But as the film goes on, we see that this will not be, for any of the young people in this place. As far as a story goes, that is pretty much it. The director, rather than casting professional actors, instead used real teenagers, from the barrio in which this is filmed. Of all the kids featured here, only the main actor, Ramiro Meneses continued to make films after this one. Four of the others died shortly after completion, murdered some say, because of their involvement with this film. I believe that fact makes this movie all the more important, as these guys should not be forgotten, and their stories and lives should reach the attention of as many people as possible. Everyone turns in great and powerful performances. There are scenes of the kids interacting with their families and friends, and although they have so little in the way of material things, they do seem to have some feeling of family in their community, as everyone lives so close to each other. The landscape of the environment is that of a brutal, treeless urban desert, with the hot Colombian sun forever beating down, adding to the general feeling of hopelessness that this film has. There are no artistic camera angles, no scenes of typical artistic merit, and I believe this to be intentional. The tone and style simply reflects the lives of these teenagers. Some complain that it is unfocused, and that nothing happens in the course of it's 90 minute running time. But that is the point, to show lives with no focus or direction, or future. Rodrigo D. has a small cult following among punk rockers, and for good reason. There is some good street punk music throughout the movie, and the main characters are punks, listening to and wearing t-shirts of bands like Sex Pistols and Exploited. And there are so many great scenes, like the band rehearsal in the hills, and 'Little John's' funeral, and the scenes of Rodrigo arguing with his sister, or his dad, who is forever trying to talk some sense into his rebellious son. And Rodrigo is forever banging his drumsticks on walls, and everywhere else, always trying to get those drums. But he never does, there is no happy ending. I recommend this film to people who are interested in looking beyond their own lives and worlds, to see other cultures, and to understand their struggles and dreams. Unfortunately this is a hard title to find, but if you get the chance, see this special film.

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