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October 25, 2023

AFF review: On the Go

Silly, profound, vulgar and mysterious, 'On the Go' is alive with the contradictions and chaos of a cruel and beautiful world.

on the go
  • Words by Daniel Tune

If your life mantra (or at least aspiration) is “be gay, do crime”, then the Spanish film On the Go is both the realisation of a fantasy and a breath of fresh air.

Exuding youthful energy and a joyously chaotic cinematic approach, this anarchic queer road movie by first time directing team Julia De Castro and Maria Gisele Royo is a punk delight with a mournful and moving undercurrent.


On the Go screens Friday 27th of October 8:45 pm at the Piccadilly

See the full program here.

On the Go follows Milagros (de Castro) and Jonathan (Omar Ayuso), two queer drifters on respective quests to become a mother and outrun the law. The film staggers like a stoned poet across the Spanish countryside, wherein a number of sensuous, casually surreal scenarios occur. This includes, but is not limited to, an encounter with a woman who believes she is a mermaid, a Grindr orgy at a stable to retrieve sperm of “good character”, and several instances of robbery and arson.

Lingering beneath the film’s overriding joie de vivre are unsettling questions of repressed pain and the strictures of patriarchy. These are questions that the film leaves in large part unresolved, as they tend to remain in our daily reality – just the tragic context which the film’s misfit heroes must both live with and live against.


This review was provided by the “2023 Emerging Screen Critics Program” – a Screen Studies collaboration between the Adelaide Film Festival and UniSA Creative, with the participation of students and mentors from the University of South Australia, the University of Adelaide and Flinders University. Supported by CityMag.

Shot on gorgeous 16-millimetre filmstock, the film has a hazy visual character that befits its woozy, dreamlike atmosphere. Though the directors themselves may not cite them as influences, I couldn’t help thinking of the carefree atmosphere of the early films of the French New Wave and the queer punk mutations of that style in the first films of Gregg Araki – The Doom Generation in particular.

In a global film culture often dominated by professionalism and carefully manicured aesthetics, the righteous amateurism of this film feels like a shot of much-needed adolescent adrenalin into the arm of the art-cinema circuit. As silly as it is profound, as vulgar as it is mysterious, On the Go is alive with the contradictions and chaos of a cruel and beautiful world, and it is fantastic fun as a result.

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