A razorsharp thriller set in Ciudad Juarez.
Teenager Hatzin travels alone on a bus from Mexico City to a disheveled small town north of the state Chihuahua to pick up the remains of his deceased father. On his way back he catches a glimpse of a man on the street resembling his father. He quickly exits the bus and finds the man, who calls himself Mario. The man works with recruiting cheap labor for factories in the US. Suddenly we are on a son’s journey into his possible father’s dodgy world.
It is no coincidence that the film is shot in the bordertown Ciudad Juarez, a city known for its abuse of cheap labor and the disappearances of young women in Mexico. It is an important part of the film, but it is in the interactions between Hatzin and his maybe-father where the film gets its nerve. What does loyalty mean in such a relationship, and how far can a young mind be stretched to meet the expectations of what he perceives is his biological father. This is both a powerful drama and a razor sharp thriller that is intense and beautifully photographed, leaving a deep impression.
Lorenzo Vigas is originally from Venezuela but has a base in and works in Mexico. In 2015 he won the main prize in Venice, The Golden Lion, for his film From Afar, and his last film is seen as the end of a trilogy that includes the documentary The Orchid Seller (2016), all focusing on relationships between father and son.
This film is part of
Original title La caja
Country Mexico, Venezuela, USA
Director Lorenzo Vigas
Screenplay Lorenzo Vigas, Paula Markovitch
Cinematography Sergio Armstrong
Producer Michel Franco, Lorenzo Vigas
Cast Hatzin Navarrete , Elian Gonzalez, Hernan Mendoza
Production Company Teorema, Ivanhoe Pictures, SK Global
Runtime 1h 32m
Genre Drama, Suspense
Age limit 15
This film is in competition for the Audience Award.