The 2019 film, written by Landes and Alexis Dos Santos, stars Julianne Nicholson and Moises Arias. Set on a faraway mountaintop, where eight kids with guns watch over a hostage and a conscripted milk cow, the film was given its world premiere at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival earlier in the year.
Monos arrives as Landes’ third feature film, a breathtaking survivalist saga set on a remote mountain in Latin America. The film tracks a young group of soldiers and rebels—bearing names like Rambo, Smurf, Bigfoot, Wolf and Boom-Boom—who keep watch over an American hostage, Doctora. The teenage commandos perform military training exercises by day and indulge in youthful hedonism by night, an unconventional family bound together under a shadowy force known only as ‘The Organisation’. After an ambush drives the squadron into the jungle, both the mission and the intricate bonds between the group begin to disintegrate. Order descends into chaos and within Monos the strong begin to prey on the weak in this vivid, cautionary fever-dream.
Speaking about her contribution to the film, Levi said: “I really like all the characters, the Jungle, the mountains and the waves and the sounds of the natural environment—the film crew went to places no one has ever filmed in, recorded sound in, at least for a film.
“Lena Esequenzis did all the sound and environmental sound. Then, with the director Alejandro Landes and music supervisor Bridget Samuels and eventually engineer Leandro De Loredo, we worked to get a balance of sound and music to picture. I hope you all enjoy the film as much as I did.”
Director Landes added: “Mica connected with and understood the spirit of the film: the faces, the colours, the extremeness of the environment, the mash of costumes, the absence of a specific time, place or date. She’s classically trained but can be equally as inspired by pop or heavy metal; she can mix synthesizer-driven music with a quartet. All this brings a very particular sensibility, a mixing of instruments, that made for a distinct, emotional and atemporal sound.”