Filmmakers in attendance.
Two young immigrants, desperate for cash, hatch a plot to kidnap a rich kid. Working from that simple premise, director Bishrel Mashbat unfurls an engrossing tale of a crime gone wrong in IN THE LAND OF LOST ANGELS, a rare contemporary work featuring the Mongolian-American community shot on location in and around LA’s Koreatown.
Two young men, Orgil (producer Iveel Mashbat) and Ankhaa (Erdenemunkh Tumursukh), drive across town and abduct Scott (Mike Cali) from his fancy car in his posher ‘hood. But as their ransom demands meet a slow response, their holding of Scott, in a motel bathtub, turns into a comedy of errors. Mashbat gets deep into the mechanics of kidnapping, such as what happens when your tied-up abductee needs to poop or when his legs lock up?
Mashbat, in his debut feature, displays a strong command of genre mechanics, including a welcome willingness to slow down before ratcheting things up. Shooting in low-contrast black-and-white, the helmer expertly builds tension as temperamental opposites Orgil and Ankhaa bicker. At its peak, the film recalls the coiled intensity the Safdie brothers’ GOOD TIME, ready to pop off at any time. But what’s groundbreaking about IN THE LAND OF LOST ANGELS is its depiction of an immigrant community that is largely invisible in American culture. For the first time, Mongolian-Americans are seen. —Ryan Wu
Director, Writer: Bishrel Mashbat
Producer: Boris Isaac
Director of Photography: Mike Maliwanag
Assistant Director: Andrew Cummings
Associate Producer: Bradley Hong
Composer: Kristen Baum
Cast: Iveel, Erdenemunkh Tumursukh, Mike Cali, Robert Corsini