Now streaming on Netflix, Nobody Knows I’m Here is a promising feature debut by Gaspar Antillo. The film centers around Memo, played with nearly wordless subtlety by Jorge Garcia (Lost), who has nearly become a total recluse. Memo lives with his uncle on an isolated sheep farm in Southern Chile.
Memo (Jorge Garcia) has become a near recluse, spending his down-timen taking a boat across the river to live out an alternate life, in the vacant houses of richer, more successful people. He also sews a glittering, patchwork outfit, imagining himself a famous singer. You see, when Memo was younger, he was discovered for his beautiful singing voice. But, due to his larger size, the powers-that-be thought his voice would be much more marketable if lip-synched by someone with more teen-heartthrob potential. This past, revealed through brief flashbacks, informs the sad and solitary life Memo currently inhabits.
Soon, Marta (Millaray Lobos) enters his life, shows an interest in Memo, slowly drawing him out of his shell. But, the plot doesn’t lead down the well-worn romance path. This movie is always focused on the frustrating, nuanced, and nearly silent performance of Garcia. The relationship between Memo and Marta is more of a tentative friendship that is always on the verge of collapse.
Nobody Knows I’m Here is the sort of indie gem that Netflix is built for, allowing a wider audience to see a fine performance in a film that would undoubtedly be difficult to sell to a mass audience. If you are up for a slow burn, subtle character study, check this out.