Earnest & Musical
80%Overall Score

Streaming on on Netflix

There have been moments in our lives when we have thought about leaving everything and starting over somewhere else, preferably international. That is why you need to watch I’m No Longer Here. Ulises (Juan Daniel Garcia Treviño) from Monterrey had to do just that and New York City was chosen for him. He reluctantly leaves his mother and is seen in Queens, NYC doing odd jobs and sharing a flat with his colleagues. After a disagreement that ends with them beating him bloody, Ulises has to now find a way to earn the money required to survive in New York. Now we go back a couple of months and see Ulises being the head of his own gang called ‘Los Terkos’ who only live for dancing and enjoying a slowed-down version of Cumbia music until an altercation with the local gang spins everything out of control.

The present and the past run parallel

The movie jumps back and forth, very often starting from the time when the seeds of trouble had started to brew. In a way, it then comes to a full circle. Any more information would spoil the movie for you. The director Fernando Frias de la Parra has also worked on HBO’s ‘Los Espookys‘ and has done a wonderful job of pulling us in Ulises’ life. We are one of his gang members in Monterrey and a silent onlooker through his trial and tribulations in New York. Even the way he has portrayed dancing is similar to what we see in Jojo Rabbit, a form of escape and freedom.

Not another coming-of-age-drama

Yes, this movie covers the year in Ulises’ life where he is reaching adulthood but it is not your regular coming-of-age drama. As you watch I’m No Longer Here, you are rooting for him. Juan Daniel Garcia Treviño has done a fantastic job and we might watch other Mexican films to see more of his work. The movie also covers the Kolombia culture, which was a counterculture movement known for its love for Cumbia. Ulises is not given a lot of dialogues and instead, we are shown what is going on in his mind with constant flashbacks. You cannot take your eyes off Ulises every time he is dancing on-screen and you might tap your feet as well.

I’m No Longer Here is a must-watch for everyone who wants to get a glimpse of life in Mexico and for anyone who wants to settle in a foreign country. Lovers of dance-dramas will also love this movie. Don’t let the language stop you, the subtitles still retain the experience. This is a touching story without being too dramatic. That is a rare breed.

Director: Fernando Frias de la Parra
Writer: Fernando Frias de la Parra
Cast: Juan Daniel Garcia Treviño, Xueming Angelina Chen, Jonathan Espinoza, Coral Puente, Fanny Tovar 
Language: Spanish
Streaming on: Netflix