MOVIE OF THE WEEK September 6, 2019: TIGERS ARE NOT AFRAID

Gritty and raw, Issa Lopez’ dark urban fairy tale Tigers Are Not Afraid (titled Vuelven in Spanish, which translates to They Come Back) centers on the devastating consequences of the drug trade, showing how the cartels’ criminal ways affect everyone in their path — including children, whose innocence disappears as quickly as the grown-ups in their lives.

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TIGERS ARE NOT AFRAID – Review by Jennifer Merin

Tigers Are Not Afraid, written and directed by Mexican filmmaker Issa Lopez, is a gripping and often hard to watch fantasy-clad drama that revolves around a group of Mexican tweens — a girl and four boys — whose ‘disappeared’ parents were victims of the ongoing drug-related violence that is decimating communities across the country.

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TIGERS ARE NOT AFRAID – Review by Susan Wloszczyna

Tigers Are Not Afraid, infused with a sense magical realism and featuring some rather gripping performances by child actors, is a gritty cinema-verite crime drama that feels like Peter Pan, the Lost Boys and Wendy met in Pan’s Labyrinth while protecting each other on the mean streets of Mexico. As drug wars regularly break out and gunfire is a regular occurrence, young children define themselves as warriors and fend for themselves in a parent-less jungle where crime, corruption and danger lurk around every corner.

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TIGERS ARE NOT AFRAID – Review by Cate Marquis

Tigers Are Not Afraid, a mix of magical realism and horror film about children living under the devastating conditions of the Mexican drug wars, starts in a reassuringly normal place, a classroom full of grade school children working on an assignment. That assignment is to create a fairy tale story. One preteen girl writes about a prince who wants to become a tiger, because tigers are never afraid.

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TIGERS ARE NOT AFRAID – Review by Loren King

Issa Lopez sets her raw and gripping fantastical tale in an unnamed Mexican city that’s been ravaged by warring drug cartels, the population decimated by ongoing violence, leaving elderly and children as victims in its wake. The city is like a lawless ghost town in a western, where neglected kids peer from the shadows and play just feet away from a corpse; where shots ring out at random; and where everything in sight is broken, defaced and abandoned.

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TIGERS ARE NOT AFRAID — Review by Alexandra Heller-Nicholas

With her 2017 feature Tigers are Not Afraid, Mexican filmmaker Issa López became the first woman to ever win the Best Horror Director award at Austin’s Fantastic Fest where it premiered. López’s potent and deeply beautiful film tells the story of a group of children abandoned as a result of the brutal dominance of a powerful drug cartel in their urban Mexican neighbourhood. Centred around an extraordinary performance by young actor Paola Lara in her feature film debut, she plays eleven-year-old Estrella who – like many of the children with whom she unites in an attempt to survive a world of unimaginable violence and pain – while often fearless, must necessarily negotiate her experiences from her youthful perspective.

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