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News & Views of Phillips Since 1976
Thursday June 20th 2024

March 2020 Movie Corner


“Midnight Family”(2019)
5 of 5 Stars

“Midnight Family” is one of those didactic documentaries that feels much more like a narrative than the usual documentary. If you know nothing  about the film and hear the title you might think it”™s a mob film or one of those  dreamy horror pictures. But instead, the film is about a family in Mexico City  who own an ambulance in Mexico City, a sprawling city of nine million people, where only 45 government ambulances are in operation. A city of nine million with only 45 government ambulances is pathetic to say the least. To add to the horrific shortage of government run ambulances, local families trying to eke out a living by having private ambulances. One of those families is the Ochoas, hard working and determined to go to the rescue of those in need of a hospital, clinic or treatment on the spot. Often times the private ambulances show up at emergencies while the government ambulances show up late or not at all.          

For the Ochoas (as with others, too), day and night (especially the later), the life of ambulance drivers and assistants often take on edgy and dangerous undertakings. Competition between the private and government ambulances is evident in a city of massive traffic jams and other obstacles. In down times, the family members go to sleep on the sidewalks or the youngster kicks a soccer ball or put on their headphones.

A lesson to be learned is the dedication of the people who own  private ambulances. On the other hand, “Midnight Family “epitomizes the vast lack of responsibility by the Mexican government. Director: Luke Lorentzen. Running time: 81 minutes. Spanish with English subtitles. Cinematography: Luke Lorentzen. Original Music: Leona

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