12 Oct 20178:45 pm | Cinema 1 |
BFI Film Festival: 243 features. 67 countries. 15 cinemas. 12 days. One Festival.
The Mexican drug war is seen from a new angle in this gripping film that finds victims and perpetrators confronting us with their nightmarish stories.
In the past five years, this barbaric war has claimed a staggering 100,000 lives. Where violence has become normalised, corruption endemic and life so cheap that it can be ended for ten dollars, everyone in Mexican society is affected – citizens, gang members, police and military.
Everardo González reveals this horror through the vivid testimony of eyewitnesses wearing surgical masks to protect their identities; the nameless figures use their anonymity to speak directly and with shattering candour. The interviews are filmed in stark, dimly-lit rooms. The storytellers remain faceless, but the depth of emotion emanating from their eyes feels like a window directly into the soul of the Mexican people. The intimacy of these environments adds immeasurably to the power of this devastating, minimalist film.
(Notes by Christine Bardsley)
Devil's Freedom, dir. Everardo González, Mexico 2017, 74 mins