A searing Mexican thriller loosely based on a true story about a beauty pageant winner caught up in the country’s nightmarish narco wars. “A first rate arthouse thriller… [with] the pulse of an action film, the tears of a telenovela and a heroine who easily shoulders the metaphoric weight of a people living under seige.” Manohla Dargis, New York Times
A poverty-stricken young Mexican street vendor enters a beauty contest in Gerardo Naranjo’s thrilling, headlong Miss Bala, only to find herself caught up in the absurdist chaos that is the Mexican/U.S. war on drugs.
After witnessing a violent massacre by members of a local drug cartel, Laura Guerrero (Stephanie Sigman) is caught up in a tense, fast-paced game of cat and mouse between the cartel and the equally malevolent local police force. Forced by charismatic, brutal drug kingpin Lido (Noe Hernandez) to undergo a series of increasingly terrifying missions, including driving a car packed with corpses, running ammunition and seducing a senior official to set up his assassination, Guerrero is witness to the inner workings of an unwinnable conflict. A vertiginous, dark and action-packed film, Miss Bala is fuelled by Naranjo’s bravura filmmaking and genuine outrage at his country’s misery.
Loosely based on a true story.
The script by Naranjo and Mauricio Katz is economical and confident in character and action, but the tandem of Naranjo and his cinematographer Mátyás Erdély is where the film succeeds. It’s a collaboration reminiscent of Alfonso Cuaron and Emmanuel Lubezki’s best work together. Dollies, brilliant crane shots, Steadicam, mise-en-scène—the film is in constant, justified movement to match the pace of the story, and Naranjo knows what a camera is capable of and how it should really move.” — Blair Stewart, Daily Film Dose
Friday, August 3, 8:30pm
Saturday, August 4, 8:30pm
Sunday, August 5, 8:30pm
Wednesday, August 8, 8:30pm
Thursday, August 9, 8:30pm