A MONSTER WITH A THOUSAND HEADS

The Mexican healthcare system is A Monster with a Thousand Heads. Rodrigo Pla’s drama/thriller centers on a desperate woman (Jana Raluy) whose husband is dying of cancer and in need of a treatment not covered by his insurance. Taking along her punk son and a gun, the woman goes into the insurance offices and pursues a relentless agenda, not ready to take no for an answer. The movie is both fast and slow, moving without much dialogue or cuts in the beginning to set up the situation, and then accelerating, with shouting and shooting, after the woman crosses the proverbial Rubicon. In sum, the movie feels like a naturalistic dramatization. Throughout it, we hear voiceovers from characters as if they’re providing testimony to the police or in a courtroom. Unusually, some of these voiceovers come from unimportant bystanders on whom the camera focuses, moving away from the main character. Perhaps the point of this approach is to implicate the witness, to suggest that, on a metaphorical level, we all bear witness to injustice. And injustice is bleak indeed.

In Spanish.

By Alec Julian & Carrie White

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