Screened as part of NZIFF 2021

Los Lobos 2019

Directed by Samuel Kishi Leopo

Offering an intimate window into the migrant experience, director Samuel Kishi Leopo has shaped a tender and honest drama about displacement, family and hope, recalling aspects of his own childhood in an immigrant community.

Mexico In Spanish with English subtitles
96 minutes DCP


Maximiliano Nájar Márquez
Leonardo Nájar Márquez


Leticia Carrillo
Inna Payan


Samuel Kishi Leopo
Sofía Gómez Córdoba
Luis Briones


Octavio Arauz


Yordi Capó
Carlos Espinoza
Samuel Kishi Leopo


Kenji Kishi Leopo


Busan 2019; Berlin 2020


Generation KPlus Grand Prix
Berlin International Film Festival 2020


“You are strong wolves. Wolves don’t cry. Wolves bite. They howl. And they protect their home.” These are the words Lucía leaves with her two sons, Max and Leo, as she goes to work. The brothers have arrived in the US from Mexico with their mother, who is struggling to make ends meet. While waiting for her to return from work, the boys watch the outside world from their window, create an imaginary universe with their drawings, listen to English lessons recorded by Lucia and dream of her promise to take them to Disneyland. — Nic Marshall

“As if it were a fable whispered in your ear by a soothing voice, Los Lobos (“The Wolves”) radiates melancholic warmth with its story of a mother and her sons starting from scratch in a foreign land. Told with unassuming force by Samuel Kishi Leopo, the Mexican director’s second semi-autobiographical feature doesn’t overlook the harsh truths but returns to hope; it is capable of both wounding and healing one’s heartstrings with its gentle touch...

In a world so severely lacking compassion, Kishi Leopo’s latest [feature] feels like the cinematic equivalent of a tight embrace that reminds us we can howl ourselves out of any storm.” — Carlos Aguilar,