“Cochochi” follows two boys from northwest Mexico’s Raramuri tribe as they run an errand for their grandfather and thereby learn some life lessons. Attenuated, simplistic tale grew out of writer-helmers Israel Cardenas and Laura Amelia Guzman’s extended contact with the region’s indigenous people. Shot so as to capture every remnant of local tradition and every stunning landscape, pic has a stiff, stagy feel, its energy level further sapped by amateur thesps who frequently seem uncomfortable in front of the camera. Pic’s main market is fests where auds have a sort spot for this sort of thing.
After an elaborate graduation ceremony at their elementary school, the brothers (played by real-life siblings Antonio Lerma Batista and Evaristo Lerma Batista) arrive at their grandfather’s ranch. When he sends them to bring medicine to a relative in a distant canyon, bolder, more disobedient Tony insists they travel by horse. Naturally, the boys get lost, lose the horse, and lose each other. Before they join up again, thanks to the local radio station’s message broadcast service, they have separate adventures in neighboring villages.