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Caluga o Menta (1990)

A penetrating look at Santiago, Chile. Its sectors and multiple social differences experienced in three friends.


Gonzalo Justiniano


Gonzalo Justiniano, Gustavo Frías (co-writer) (as Gustavo Frias) | 1 more credit »
2 nominations. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Hector Vega Mauricio Hector Vega Mauricio ... Niki (as Mauricio Vega)
Patricia Rivadeneira Patricia Rivadeneira ... Manuela
Aldo Parodi Aldo Parodi ... Nacho
Myriam Palacios Myriam Palacios ... Niki's mother
David Olguiser David Olguiser ... (as David Ollguisser)
Rodrigo Gijón Rodrigo Gijón ... (as Rodrigo Gijon)
Cecilia Godoy Cecilia Godoy ... Negra
Rodrigo Peña Rodrigo Peña ... El Feto
Luis Alarcón Luis Alarcón ... Javier
Mauricio Pesutic Mauricio Pesutic ... Dealer
Jorge Gajardo Jorge Gajardo ... Jefe Taller
Remigio Remedy Remigio Remedy ... Gustavo (yuppie) (as Remigio Remedi)
Mireya Véliz Mireya Véliz ... Old woman
Claudia Santelices Claudia Santelices ... Flaca
Luis Cornejo Luis Cornejo ... Old mechanic


Niki and his friends are members of the marginalised underclass living on the outskirts of Santiago. During Chile's transition from dictatorship to democracy (1988-1990), they forge a path from drug- and drink-fuelled nihilism and petty crime into the world of market-driven illegality and Niki begins a seemingly predestined relationship with the middle-class "loca", Manuela. Memorable episodes and characters, quotable dialogue and a mix of earthy national portrait and surrealistic flourish make this one of the key Chilean films of the Nineties. Written by Alejandra

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama




Chile | Spain

Release Date:

15 October 1990 (Chile) See more »

Also Known As:

El Niki See more »

Filming Locations:

Santiago, Chile

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



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Did You Know?


Performed by Upa!
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User Reviews

Powerful images from underground Chile
30 July 2000 | by OstomedoSee all my reviews

This is a movie that depicts with no moralizing realism the life of a group of youngs dealing with drugs and unemployment. Shows too the skepticism of young people about the new Chilean democracy. The image of the boys taking a sunbath in the middle of nowhere(when Niki asks "what time is it?" and other replies "do you have something to do?"), maybe is the picture of the 90s Chilean cinema. Some of the scenes you can't forget, and sometimes bother reminding us that Chile has a lot of people in problems about drugs and unemployment. Niki's and Myriam Palacios performance, and Gaston Roca's cinematography are the best of this movie. The line "La droga es lo peor" (Drug is the worst) was a popular quote in early 90s, because this movie had a good audience in theaters, video and TV.

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