Friends Ras and Calvin criss-cross the Colombian provincial city of Cali – birthplace of filmmaker Oscar Ruiz Navia – by skateboard and BMX looking for money to buy paint, an empty wall to fill, and something greater to be part of.
Coming from totally different social backgrounds, but equally alienated from their parents, they share a striking friendship. They recognise kindred spirits in a YouTube film of the Arab Spring, which inspires them to provide a contribution to a collective piece with a group of local street artists. Hongos, ‘mushrooms’, the director calls them: they thrive on rotting matter.
Just as in his debut Crab Trap, Ruiz Navia mixes documentary and fiction to capture the diffuse reality of his characters. Painting is never far away: some tableaux breathe the dreamy atmosphere of primitivism, for instance in scenes that portray the almost idyllic bond between Calvin and his grandmother.