First Feature Competition
Prayers for the Stolen
Noche de Fuego
Tatiana Huezo’s incisive feature debut places a coming-of-age story at the centre of a rural community in Mexico blighted by drug cartels.
Nicolás Celis, Jim Stark
Ana Cristina Ordóñez González, Marya Membreño, Mayra Batalla
Mexico-Germany-Brazil-Qatar 2021. 110min
With English subtitles
Eight-year-old Ana and her mum Rita live in a small mountain village where poppy plants are harvested. Ana and her two best friends, Paula and Maria, have grown up together and turn the unknown fear constantly hovering over the village into something playful. Jumping forward five years to their adolescence, the disturbing presence manifested by the appearance of black SUVs in the area becomes harder to ignore. Following her unforgettable documentary film on human trafficking (Tempestad), Tatiana Huezo delves deeper into the devastating reality – particularly for women – of Mexico’s war on drugs. However, within the darkness and horror we find brightness, humour, love and solidarity. The resilience and compassion of this community of women propels the drama, intensified by breathtaking first-time performances and a hauntingly elegant score.
Hyun Jin Cho
Contains scenes viewers may find distressing.
You may also enjoy
A Cop Movie
Be prepared to be surprised by this wildly inventive, hybrid documentary drama by Mexican director Alonso Ruizpalacios, following two Mexico City police officers on the beat.
The Hole in the Fence
The politics of privilege are brutally dissected in a striking coming-of-age tale that exposes the fault lines and schisms of contemporary Mexican society.
Remarkably nuanced and emotionally engaging, Kavich Neang’s film delves into the impact of gentrification in Phnom Penh and pays homage to the enduring memory of the iconic White Building.