Prayer for the Stolen

Prayer for the Stolen ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Director: Tatiana Huezo Cast: Guillermo VillegasMayra BatallaAlejandra Camacho,

Rita lives with her young daughter Ana in a rural village in Mexico, which is often raided by members of the local cartels in search of young women to kidnap. In order to keep her daughter safe, Rita raises her to look more like a like a boy, cutting her hair short and trains her to hide in shallow grave-like digs in her own courtyard whenever comes looking for her.

Writer and director Tatiana Huezo has created a film which is almost plotless, looking more like a documentary than an actual drama. Her sensitive and naturalistic approach to film-making, with no music (expect at the end), great use of atmosphere sound and loose editing makes everything feel immediate and real, and even though the overall pacing of the film might be a bit slow for some, there is no denying that this is powerful stuff.

The acting of everyone on screen (particularly the children) is so natural that at times I did wonder whether there was any script all.

Huezo avoid the usual clichés of the typical cartel stories, in favour of subtly (maybe too subtly) showing the lives of the innocent people (mostly women) who are affected by all the trafficking and drug dealing happening in those remote regions.

Even though there is virtually no violence on screen, the atmosphere is always one of dread, tension and sadness. As a viewer you’re completely immersed in the everyday life of these people, in constant fear that something may happen at any moment.

It’s not an easy watch and definitly not for everyone, but even if the film seems to do very little, it will stay with you long after the credits have rolled.

On Mubi from this week.

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