La Zona review

The river of great Mexican movies just keeps flowing

More evidence of an ongoing spring in the step of Mexican cinema, this debut feature exerts an unsettling grip from its provocative opening shot.

A car roams a picture-perfect suburb, pausing to allow schoolkids in immaculate uniforms to cross the road, before the camera cranes upwards to reveal that this monied neighbourhood is a posh enclave fenced off from the seething poverty of Mexico City.

After a trio of young thieves breaches this gated community, its residents attempt to cover up their violent counteraction, fending off the attentions of good cop Mario
Zaragoza while searching for the third boy still hiding in their midst.

Director Rodrigo Plá pulls off a biting critique of middle-classes living in smug seclusion, but doesn’t compromise on tension as the suburbanites’ morals spiral out of control.

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