Festival Review: Soy Nero (2016)

Soy Nero

Following a Mexican teenager on his journey from immigrant to green card holder, Rafi Pitts’ Soy Nero seethes with palpable discomfort.

Paint It Black

by Mark Wilshin

Soy Nero

CAUTION: Here be spoilers

Making the leap into English language filmmaking, Rafi Pitts brings us Soy Nero, a film dedicated to all the Greencard Soldiers in the USA, who were deported instead of being granted their promised right to remain. Through a series of awkward situations we follow Nero (Johnny Ortiz), a Mexican teenager who, deported after his dad’s death in combat, attempts to return to the USA by crossing the border and enlisting himself. On the way, he meets a car driver with a girl and a gun (as well as a conspiracy theory paranoia) and his brother Jesús, seemingly living the high life in a mansion on Beverly Hills. But as he’s caught by border guards or picked up by a patrolling police car, the danger is palpable – not least in the conversations, imbued with an uneasy mix of threats and psychosis or half-truths and pride. While there are some growling, pulsing moments that feel unique to Pitts, Soy Nero starts to fall apart during its protracted deployment to the Middle East, which sees his fellow soldiers behave erratically and illogically. There’s an entertaining irony that sees the illegal immigrant turn enforcer, as he checks identification papers at a border control. But with an indecisive double ending in which (either way) Nero’s dreams die in the desert, Soy Nero stretches logic to its limits just to make its point.

Soy Nero is now showing at the Berlin Film Festival

Join the discussion