Candid interviews with both victims and perpetrators create an impression of how systematic violence is devastating Mexican society.
‘What do you get when you kill someone?’ a voice asks off screen. ‘Power,’ is the reply from a Mexican gangster who committed his first murder at the age of 14, still in his school uniform. This heart-rending documentary devotes as much attention to boys like him as it does to the victims of such crimes, which plague all levels of Mexican society. Everardo González thus shows how systematic violence holds everyone in Mexico in a death grip.
All of González’ interviewees wear a plain, flesh-coloured mask that allows us to recognize their emotions while granting them a certain degree of anonymity. This results in candid stories of kidnapping, murder, rape and other forms of violence. By presenting perpetrators and victims in the same way, González underlines the complex nature of Mexico’s kidnapping epidemic: the chances of having a gun pointed at you are just as good as that of you pointing one at someone else.
Devil's Freedom is part of the IDFA Selection theme programme.