Impact | Insights
Mexico City has only 45 public ambulances serving a population of 9 million. Hence the need for private ambulance services. Luke Lorentzen’s bracing, visceral, and complex documentary takes you inside one such enterprise led by the Ochoas, a working-class family who make their keep rushing to 911 calls that are unlikely to be serviced by the public system.
Using an unflinching vérité style that doesn’t gloss over the realities of the Ochoas’ enterprise, Midnight Family embeds the viewer in a morally hazy universe of political corruption and economic disparity. It’s to Lorentzen’s considerable credit that the Ochoa operation doesn’t come off in a one-dimensional fashion; this is no charity born of noble intentions. Often going days at a time without ever finding patients whose insurance plans can cover their lofty costs, these would-be paramedics double as salesman who just so happen to toil in a line of work where the stakes are literally life and death.
"A compelling documentary that blends the engaging family dynamic of a Kore-eda drama with the socio-economic realities of a Ken Loach classic." -Allan Hunter, Screen
Grand Jury Award, Sheffield 19