2018 - MEXICO/ USA/ 81 MINUTES
A FILM BY LUKE LORENTZEN
With striking vérité camerawork, Midnight Family drops us directly into the frenetic nighttime emergency ecosystem of Mexico City. In the midst of high-speed ambulance rides, we meet the Ochoas, a ragtag family of private paramedics, who try desperately every day to be the first responders to critically injured patients.
In a city where the government operates only 45 emergency ambulances for a population of over nine million, the family acts as a crucial—but unregistered—underground lifeline. But the job is riddled with police bribes and cutthroat competition. And even though the Ochoa family has a reputation for being trustworthy, they must reckon with the sudden escalation in bribes that could force them to wade into the ethically questionable practice of making money off of patients in dire straits.
Midnight Family maintains a breathless speed and urgency throughout. The camera is always exactly where it needs to be, capturing the intense textures and thrills of rides and rescues until, with each repetition, a subtextual story emerges—of a family and a society under profound financial and moral duress.