Mexican filmmaker Fernando Frias de la Parra’s fresh take on this coming-of-age narrative sees the rough road of growth collide with issues of identity. From the streets of Mexico to the immigrant communities of New York City, the film tracks the lives of a group of young men brought together around a measured, melancholic local interpretation of a Colombian-born rhythm, the cumbia.

Dreams, memories and harsh reality are intertwined as dancing transcends a form of expression to become the air they breathe to survive. De la Parra’s hazy, observational camera invites us to follow Ulises (Juan Daniel Garcia Treviño), a 17-year-old Mexican who must learn to become a man in America.

He’s isolated and recovering from trauma, away from his friends, the Terkos – the street gang he was part of in Monterrey. At turns brutal and tender, the story ponders how the boys can preserve their lives, youth, and friendship in a world where they feel their existence is worthless.