The story changes every time someone asks “The Kid Who Lies’?” 13-year-old protag what happened to his parents. In time, however, the boy’s personal history begins to take shape as he travels across Venezuela to find his missing mother and reveal the truth about the forces that destroyed his family. Director Marite Ugas uses the intimate — but only intermittently engaging — tale of a young runaway as metaphor for those still suffering from the 1999 Vargas mudslides, a natural disaster that claimed more than 10,000 victims. Though pic played well in Berlin, it won’t stray far from the fest circuit.
Despite its titular teenager (the magnetic heart of the film, unaffectedly played by newcomer Iker Fernandez), “Kid” isn’t really aimed at young auds, as the opening-scene drowning of a dog immediately suggests. Instead, Ugas reaches out to those still trying to reconcile the mudslides’ effect by rearranging her road-movie premise into a more complex (and potentially confusing) nonlinear form: The boy’s progress through a series of raucous encounters with young people met en route is interrupted by dark flashbacks that belie the serious side of this otherwise carefree coming-of-ager.