Factory worker Heli lives a modest life with his father and his sister Estela in rural Mexico. In a misguided attempt to finance his elopement with the 12-year-old Estela, police cadet Beto steals two large packages of cocaine, setting off a string of increasingly bloody, painful, and even fatal consequences. Awarded the prize for Best Director at Cannes, Heli takes an unflinching look at the cycle of drugs and violence in contemporary Mexico, depicting immense brutality with shocking frankness. Warning: this film contains extreme violence.
Spanish with English Subtitles, 95
Three Guatemalan teens depart on the treacherous 1,200-mile trek towards the United States, riding atop dilapidated trains in the hope of finding a new life. Together they must undergo an unrelenting, arduous journey in which no one they meet can be trusted and catastrophe waits around every corner. Constantly upending audience expectations, this unrelenting immigration thriller will leave viewers at the edge of their seats until its nail-biting climax comes to a shocking close.
Spanish with English Subtitles, 102
Since his divorce, Alberto has not spent much time with his children, Lucia and Federico. A trip to the hot springs seems like an ideal getaway, but an unrelenting storm traps the three of them inside their tiny rented cabin. Alberto’s sunny optimism begins to drain as floodwaters and close quarters bring out the worst in everyone. By turns achingly funny and poignant, this all-too-familiar drama is an affectionately drawn portrait of the classically fraught family vacation.
Spanish with English Subtitles, 90
After decades of working in a Tijuana factory, Rafael finds that, due to a technicality, he won’t be receiving a pension. Lidia works as a maid whose demanding boss devotes all her attention to her dog Princess. When her boss dies and leaves her fortune entirely to Princess, Lidia finds herself working for a canine millionaire. Gorgeously observed with striking visuals, Workers tells the moving, often absurdly funny story of two employees who are pushed to the breaking point.
Spanish with English Subtitles, 120
By turns beautiful, brutal, and eye-opening, Rodrigo Reyes's documentary offers a thoughtful portait of the US-Mexico border. His wide-ranging aesthetic inquiry incorporates interviews with border-crossers, coroners, dog-catchers, police, and others on both sides, tying these disparate stories together through stunning imagery that depicts the border as an almost mythic place. Purgatorio is less concerned with polemics than it is with considering the human implications of defining and enforcing a line between two nations.
English and Spanish with English Subtitles, 80
When 16-year-old Malak discovers that she’s pregnant, she quickly finds herself alone in a community that marginalizes and mistreats single mothers. Abandoned by the baby’s father, shunned by her family, and in dire need of cash, Malak is forced to take desperate measures. An elegantly-photographed portrait of a young woman’s struggles, Malak garnered major awards at Morocco’s National Film Festival, including the Jury Prize, Best Screenplay, and Best Actress for its young star Chaimae Ben Acha.
Moroccan Arabic with English Subtitles, 97
When a small boy catches her with her lover, Fatine must pay a terrible price.Part of Shorts 5: Spotlight Africa
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