There are some special directors who, since their first projects, have succeeded in certifying that they have reached their artistic maturity. Hugo Diego Garcia is one of them. And, yes! His short film, ‘Tony‘, is certainly one of the most successful films that have been part of our festival. The force of this consistent project (which has enough potential to become an excellent feature) fascinated us not only with the authenticity and emotion of its epic content, but also with its visual and musical refinement. Thus, the great merit of the young filmmaker lies not only in the care by which he manages to customize a life story synthesizing the destiny of a community, but also in the talent with which he creates a vast existential odyssey whose aesthetics can compete with many of the recent world productions. Likewise, our admiration for the young director’s excellent work is also about how this short film successfully combines the dramatic themes adopted by Jacques Audiard’s films and the chromatic balance of some directors such as Jean-Pierre Jeunet combined with the techno / electro musical contrasts used by Nicolas Winding Refn or Gaspar Noé. These influences, however, do not diminish the spectacularism of the project signed by Hugo Diego Garcia, who is also the lead actor and who concentrates in his intense 30-minutes-project a broad emotional and behavioural palette, illustrating with accuracy and sensibility the destiny of a special individual as well as that of a marginal ethnic community that tries to defy racial stereotypes through extreme violence.
Placed in the contemporary world of ethnic minorities struggling for proper integration into the social exigencies imposed by their adoptive country, this short film depicts the story of Tony, a descendant of a Spaniard family established in France. Problems caused by an abusive father generate a huge emotional wound in the young man’s soul (who is incapable of protecting his mother and sister from the adverse consequences of family conflicts) becoming an important member of a pariah band whose hatred is fuelled by the racist attitude of the others. The story of the protagonist has ups and downs, but despite the many acts of violence that Tony’s friends commit, the main character manages to keep unaltered his moral verticality by which he hopes to establish justice in his intimate and social micro-universe.
Partly fiction, partly docudrama which focuses on the authentic exploration of human relationships due to the divergent mentalities specific to the interethnic tensions within the French space, ‘Tony’ is an impressive panorama of a veritable social context that fascinates through its narrative and cinematic complexity. The suffering caused by social inadequacy, family traumas, moments of explosive revolt, and the total freedom episodes powered by the beauty of friendship are just some of the most intense emotions captured in this hallucinatory short film which we liked so much that we are eager to see Hugo Diego Garcia’s next projects.
For its epic ampleness, for the incredible suggestiveness of its visual and musical force, for the talent with which the director manages to synthesize a wide range of characters that synthesize the emotional profile of a marginal community, but also for the sensitivity with which the director builds a complex and empathetic protagonist, ‘Tony’ was awarded with the Film of the Month distinction in the October 2018 edition of TMFF.