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Midnight Family
3.7 stars - WGW






Runtime - 81 minute; 389 vote; tomatometers - 8,3 / 10 Star; Review - In Mexico City's wealthiest neighborhoods, the Ochoa family runs a for-profit ambulance, competing with other unlicensed EMTs for patients in need of urgent care. In this cutthroat industry, they struggle to keep their financial needs from compromising the people in their care; Director - Luke Lorentzen; Writers - Luke Lorentzen. Who's Involved: Luke Lorentzen Rating: NR Runtime: 1 hr, 21 m Midnight Family Official stills & photos 5 more Midnight Family Plot: What's the story? In Mexico City's wealthiest neighborhoods, the Ochoa family runs a private ambulance, competing with other for-profit EMTs for patients in need of urgent help. As the Ochoas try to make a living in this cutthroat industry, they struggle to keep their financial needs from compromising the people in their care. 1. 00 / 5 stars ( 1 users) Poll: Will you see Midnight Family? — Crew and Production Credits: Who's making Midnight Family? A look at the Midnight Family behind-the-scenes crew and production team. Midnight Family Trailers & Videos Production Timeline: When did the Midnight Family come together? On or about May 28, 2019 • The film was in Completed status. Questions: Frequently Asked About Midnight Family.

Can we all just take a moment to appreciate that this film looks really promising because it has 2 A class than commenting Black Widow and Kylo Ren lol. First things first, and I dont find myself saying this too often about documentaries, but one of the best things about Luke Lorentzen Midnight Family is the amazingly beautiful camerawork. It will be screened in 4K which will make the viewing experience that much more enrapturing for future viewers. The way the film is shot makes you feel as though you are right in the thick of the action, of which there is quite a bit. Midnight Family centers on the Ochoa family, who are one of many families who (at least attempt to) make their living through for-profit ambulance services. In Mexico City, where the film takes place, there are only FORTY-FIVE government provided ambulances in a city with a population of 9 million people. For-profit ambulances came on the scene as a relief but also as a way for some people to make money off of vulnerable peoples misfortunes. “… the Ochoa family…makes their living through for-profit ambulance services. ” The Ochoas seem to be the exception to the rule in this cutthroat industry of for-profit EMT work. While some of the ambulance companies wont even pick up the injured til they agree to pay, the Ochoas first priority is transporting the patient, even though a vast percentage of the time, the patient or their family dont have the money or refuse to pay once the patient gets safely to the hospital. On top of the fact that the team uses police bribes of 300 pesos to get to the accident sites first, this corruption causes the Ochoas a good bit of financial stress. The Ochoas are an extremely likable group. We have Juan who does most of the talking throughout the film. Hes a 17-year-old with a big ego and loves to drive the ambulance super fast. When hes not telling the camera about his successes, he is on the phone with his girlfriend, Jessica. Then there is Manuel, who doesnt talk much on screen but is the one in the unfortunate position of having to ask patients for money after their ambulance rides. Then we have Fernando who is Juan and Josues father and the patriarch of the family and head of the business with Fernando. Lastly, we have the hilarious Josue, an eleven-year-old kid who would much rather spend nights on ambulance rides than days in school. There are several thrilling scenes where the Ochoas must rush through the horrendous Mexico City traffic to pick up patients. Fernando yells through a loudspeaker for taxis and cars to get out of the way. More than once, we witness the Ochoas dealing with the police, sometimes losing all the money they made in one night on paying bribes and staying out of jail. Its frustrating, considering that all the Ochoas and most other ambulance services are trying to save peoples lives, yet cash continues to be king, especially to corrupt police. “… its a very exciting, sad, yet extremely funny film…” Lorentzen befriended the Ochoas after moving to Mexico City and seeing Juan and Josue cleaning the ambulance outside of the hospital. He was a one-man crew, which is very impressive considering how well done Midnight Family is, but it also makes sense considering that the back of an ambulance is not all that big. Lorentzen did a great job about remaining objective enough to show us the corruption inside the Mexican government and the world of for-profit life-saving services. Yet he was subjective enough to successfully allow the audience to care for the Ochoas and hope that they can continue to thrive as a business and a family. I think its important that Lorentzen shows worldwide audiences the desperate situation with healthcare in Mexico with Midnight Family. Perhaps this will lead to charitable donations and reforms to improve the system. Even if it doesnt, its a very exciting, sad, yet extremely funny film. I cant wait for you all to see it. Midnight Family (2019) Written and Directed by Luke Lorentzen. Starring Juan Ochoa, Fernando Ochoa, Manuel Ochoa, Josue Ochoa. 8 out of 10 stars.

Synopsis In Mexico City, the government operates fewer than 45 emergency ambulances for a population of 9 million. This has spawned an underground industry of for-profit ambulances often run by people with little or no training or certification. An exception in this ethically fraught, cutthroat industry, the Ochoa family struggles to keep their financial needs from jeopardizing the people in their care. When a crackdown by corrupt police pushes the family into greater hardship, they face increasing moral dilemmas even as they continue providing essential emergency medical services. Crew Details Genre Director Producers Writer Editor Cinematography Studio Country Language Alternative Title Popular reviews More Midnight Family has more layers than most documentaries I've seen from 2019. There is no doubt I was rooting for the Ochoa's during my viewing and even now. But I'm also sickened by there choices, elated by a 17 year old speeding through the streets endangering lives to get ahead of another ambulance, and saddened when he is arrested for helping at a crash scene. Undoubtedly one of the most complex docs in the last few years. Luke Lorentzen is a promising and deft new voice, I'm not sure how official a Directorial Debuts this is but it would have been in my top three of 2019 if I'd seen it in time. I highly recommend it. Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu. A brief elaboration. The health care situation in Mexico City is the reason Malcolm Tucker coined the term "omnishambles. There are 45 public ambulances for 9 million people, and so private ambulances fill the gap, jumping in with limited regulation, unclear training, and uncertain recompense. MIDNIGHT FAMILY stays close and tight with the Ochoa family as they try to work this situation for their survival. I was bemused when an audience member groaned at an early shot of a family member cleaning blood from a stretcher - what did you *expect* from an ambulance documentary. but in general the film actually eschews gore, instead carefully modulating between levels of the aforementioned omnishambles so that you never get fully… DO BUILD STRONGER MEDICAL EMERGENCY CARE AND AMBULANCES FOR MEXICO DON'T BUILD WALLS thank you for coming to my ted-talk The health of the citizens of Mexico City is, increasingly, in the hands of a loose system of private ambulance companies (there are less than 50 government ambulances in the entire metropolis. Director Luke Lorentzen spotlights one of those companies, the family business of the Ochoas, adopting a fly-on-the-wall approach that captures the chaos of their accident scenes and the wait forever/go-go-go nature of their existence. Its a harrowing picture, not just in its fast pace and life-and-death stakes, but for the moral ambiguity of its protagonists, which becomes clearer the longer we ride along. SUNDANCE FILM NO. 1 A portrait of a family framed against the decline of the 15th largest global economy; these good people simply doing good things is made to feel like a radical act. I can't speak highly enough of this doc. It was funded in a similar manner to Sandi Tan's SHIRKERS (my best of the fest from last year) so I really hope this finds an audience! It's a great feeling looking forward to a movie and then it's ~actually~ as good as you were anticipating. Good start to Sundance 2019. Gleams with the flashing red and blue lights of cop cars and ambulances, vividly lensed by director Luke Lorentzen himself, who also tactfully averts his cameras gaze from the bodily carnage that the Ochoas and their competitors rush towards every night in hopes of not just getting to the scene of an accident first, but also actually getting paid for the vital work that they do. If you were to watch only an excerpt or two, youd have a pretty different impression of what the doc is depending on the clip you got. Scenes that are quiet and calm, such as when the Ochoas are carefully assembling their gear in preparation for the night ahead, cast brief spells that were jolted out of when a call comes in and were suddenly racing through the streets of Mexico City. What a ride. Recent reviews Mexico City is home to 9 million souls, but the government operates fewer than 45 ambulances to aid them in times of need. To fill the gap, an entire underground industry of for-profit ambulances has cropped up. None are regulated, most are unlicensed physicians with little to no training, and all of them are in competition with one another. First on the scene gets the injured, which has created an unholy system of police bribes and partnerships with private hospitals. None of which seems to be in the patients best interest. Produced, directed, shot and edited by Luke Lorentzen, Midnight Family follows the Ochoas — an uncle, a father and his two sons — as they stalk the streets of… Me gusta esta mezcla de Bringing out the dead con The Grapes of Wrath y hasta algo de Shoplifters hay por ahí. Y son puros ejemplos de ficción por una razón: Familia de Medianoche opera como una película de ficción y es muy consciente de su aparato cinematográfico. Ya sea el aspect ratio, las persecuciones, la corrección de color, las carreras, los riesgos, todo aquí está codificado para máximo impacto visual, sin dejar a un lado que esta historia es un microcosmos de la fractura social. Insanamente tenso, emocionante y, al menos para mí, algo desesperanzador, Familia de Medianoche es un pequeño compilado de momentos cohesivos, familiares y de unión, enmarcados en el trágico país que vivimos, donde esfuerzos así… A literal family unit. Combating systematic oppression through mechanical survival, the most stripped down satisfactions become the sweetest. This cannot go on. Not enough ambulances are working tonight. They waited 40 minutes for help. Easily one of the most engaging documentaries I've seen so far. While the doc itself is insane (it literally includes footage of ambulances racing each other in busy streets to get to an accident first) I found myself considering how it made me feel. There's an obvious moral dilemma here. Do I cheer on the Ochoa family for doing what they can to survive and help others, or do I condemn them for operating an ambulance and attending to patients without proper training? It's stayed with me, and I'm sure I'll be considering that one for a while. Sometimes I want to take a night off just to show everyone how screwed they'd be without us. Gripping and intriguing documentary which held me throughout. Fascinating to sink into this world. One Ive been unaware of. a good case study for how the world is fucked capitalism is fucked government is fucked everything is fucked You know that scene from GANGS OF NEW YORK where the competing fire companies end up brawling with each other as the buildings burn down around them? Well, that is essence is MIDNIGHT FAMILY. Set in Mexico City, where the chronically under-resourced public ambulance service is bolstered by a odd fleet of competing private ambulances. Following a few nights in the lives of a family-run ambulance company we see them scrimping and saving to keep their ambulance running, eating crappy food, racing other ambulances to be the first on scene, getting harassed by the police, who are enforcing an always changing Kafka-esque list of ambulance regulations, getting stiffed by clients/patients, loosing all of their money by bribing cops, all of… This is a brutally real story about the collision of empathy and commerce. If you're reading this and don't know what the doc is about, it follows a family that makes its bones acting as for-profit ambulance drivers. They do it because this is how they survive, but they're also filling a need in a place woefully unequipped to deal with medical emergencies. While the story is specific to Mexico, its themes are universal. It's staggering how we systemically betray ourselves and leverage tragedy for our own benefit. There's a part where the main drives an injured woman and her in-shock mother to a hospital. The injured woman dies on the drive, but the family badly needs the money, so we have to listen as they hit up the distraught mother for cash. Popular Lists More.

A chance encounter on a Mexico City street took a young filmmaker on a wild detour to making one of 2019s most thrilling documentaries, which gives the notion of “ambulance chasing” a whole new meaning. In “Midnight Family, ” which made the Academy Award shortlist for documentary feature, audiences meet the Ochoas — primarily father Fer, his teenage son and driver Juan, and younger son Josué, not yet an adolescent — who run one of the citys fiercely competitive ambulance-for-hire services. These private operations fulfill an urgent need: The citys 9 million residents are served only by some 45 state-owned ambulances. Each night, the Ochoas race through the neon-drenched streets of one of the worlds most densely populated cities, using a scanner to monitor police reports as they gun hard to reach accident victims — and other prospective clients — before another service gets there. Luke Lorentzen was 23 and new to Mexico City, where he was frustrated trying to assemble a different project. One day in December 2015 he came upon the Ochoas ambulance, parked in front of his apartment. They invited him to ride along. “That first evening I just saw this whole underworld of for-profit health care that really shocked me, ” Lorentzen said, “and made me feel a lot of different things, all while enjoying the experience of being with this family. ” The film, which won a special jury award for cinematography at the Sundance Film Festival and the grand jury award at Englands Sheffield Doc/Fest, immerses audiences in that experience, putting them behind the wheel of the Ochoas cramped emergency vehicle. The compact space heightens the visceral situations the family encounters — as they collect bloodied and emotionally distraught patients — and the sometimes eccentric dynamics among its members. Lorentzen, who rode with and filmed the Ochoas until early 2018, found the excitement (and existential moodiness) of the nightly runs could be captured with minimal tools. He worked as a one-man crew, with one camera strapped to the ambulances hood and another in his hands. The filmmaker built confidence over a long series of rides, working limitations — a single 24mm lens, the tight space inside the vehicle — to his advantage. The nocturnal shoots also provide a glimpse of an urban wonderland most people dont see. “I was so excited about just how beautiful and alluring Mexico City is at night, ” he said. “Theres so many different neon colors. ” Lorentzen said he was as likely to think of the visual compositions of the late Austrian documentarian Michael Glawogger (“Whores Glory, ” “Workingmans Death”) as David Fincher while behind the camera, working almost entirely with available light. He also looked to the obsessive experiential quality of documentaries out of Harvards Sensory Ethnography Lab, with their knack for giving moving images a tactile expressiveness. That approach gives the films craziest sequences a rollercoaster immediacy. One high-speed run, in which Juan hit the pedal to brake ahead of a rival ambulance, bristles like an excerpt from “The Fast and the Furious. ” Lorentzen was too wrapped up in such moments to worry much about the risks. “I was so motivated to capture all this energy, ” he said. “There were very few moments where I felt really out of control. Speeding at 80 mph through Mexico City is pretty hair-raising, but I knew those would be some of the most amazing scenes in the film. ” Such elements were much easier to convey than the often disturbing ethical questions that came into play. “The deeper I got into it, the more I realized there were these really big socio-political questions at the center of it, ” said Lorentzen, whose Mexican residencies were juggled with four seasons working on Netflixs “Last Chance U. ” “Some nights, they save somebodys life and other nights they put people in really questionable situations, ” said the filmmaker, who shows how the family must hustle the suffering, or sometimes prioritize money over mercy, to generate the income that keeps their cash-strapped enterprise in business. Everyone is trying to survive. “That balance between good and bad was a really subtle palette of emotions, and I didnt have the material to get that across until really late. ” Indeed, about three-quarters of the film comes from a final shooting phase with the Ochoas, right after an earlier cut of “Midnight Family” was turned down by Sundance. But when Lorentzen went back, the family trusted him enough to really make themselves vulnerable for the camera, he said. “When you think of the craft of filmmaking, the first thing everybody talks about is cinematography, editing, sound, the music. “On this film, I spent most of my time just building this relationship. Not every documentary depends on it as much as ‘Midnight Family does but with this film, its the only piece holding everything together. ”.

Midnight family trailer english. Midnight mass holy family. Midnight family clip. Midnight family watch online. Me before watching the trailer: there was no need for the sequel Me after watching the trailer: oh well maybe there was. Photo: 1091 Media Mexico Citys health care crisis, much like Americas, primarily revolves around prohibitive costs and limited access. The issues myriad complexities are neatly embodied by a single problem plaguing the city: an ambulance shortage. The Mexico City government only operates 45 emergency ambulances to accomplish the impossible task of serving nine million people. Private ambulance companies, such as the one run by the father-and-sons team at the center of Luke Lorentzens vérité documentary Midnight Family, have sprung up in the city to fill the void. As members of a for-profit underground network, the Ochoa family frequently cuts ethical and medical corners in order to help an underserved population. When theres profit to be made, capitalism finds a way. Like any small business, the Ochoa family comes up against many daily obstacles that hinder their success. They face fierce competition from other private and public EMTs, often dangerously racing them in the streets to accident scenes. Corrupt cops constantly impede their progress by demanding bribes or halting their assistance. Since the Ochoas work in a liminal legal space, they dont necessarily have access to the proper equipment, let alone paperwork or an up-to-date vehicle. Most frustrating of all, theyre forced to shake down the victims they transport when they cant or wont pay. The Ochoa family may charge high prices for their emergency services, but the money they reap mostly goes toward upkeep and expenses. By night, they save lives. By day, theyre just another low-income Mexico City family struggling to put food on the table and pay their electric bills. Lorentzen documents the nightly excursions in stunning widescreen compositions, carefully orchestrated and featuring an urban-noir color palette dominated by the ambulances spinning blue warning light. (At times, the imagery almost recalls the night scenes in Michael Manns Thief. Despite the flattering aesthetic, Lorentzen doesnt present the Ochoa family in an exaggerated heroic light. Instead, he matter-of-factly focuses on the intersection between their mercenary and selfless impulses. Its obvious that Fer and his two sons, Juan (age 17) and Josué (age 10) feel responsible for the people in their charge and take their safety seriously. At the same time, theyre forced to make ethically questionable decisions every time theyre on the road, like pressuring people in critical condition to accept care they cant afford. Lorentzen keeps the action as thrilling as possible in the moment—he films two heavy-duty car chases and a time-sensitive journey to the hospital, both of which are as suspenseful as anything youll find in the multiplex—to replicate the high-pressure context that allows the Ochoas problematic conduct to thrive. Which mother wouldnt instinctually trust the EMTs in charge of saving her daughters life, even if their profit motive inevitably guides, and sometimes clouds, their judgment? To his credit, Lorentzen never guides the audiences moral response, allowing us to make up our minds about the Ochoas on a scene-by-scene basis. He also provides ample rationale for their actions by depicting their hand-to-mouth lifestyle alongside the on-the-job drudgery. Alt hough Midnight Family s diaristic structure contributes to a general shapelessness (the film doesnt end so much as just stop) it allows for plenty of time spent with the Ochoa family, including Juan and Josué, who bicker and joke around with each other as often as they patrol the streets for misfortune. These moments of downtime provide a warm, comic energy to Midnight Family that renders the Ochoas naturally sympathetic subjects and illustrates why Lorentzen decided to film them in the first place. Yet they also throw the scenes where, say, theyre coercing the mother of a domestic abuse victim to pay 3, 800 pesos for a hospital ride in a different light. A health care system that cant effectively cover its population and forces civilians to pick up the slack turns everyone into a victim.

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Masters in marriage and family therapy california. Family law software. Midnight sun family. Most beautiful movie of the year. Midnight family. Rn to family nurse practitioner online. My brain just immediately checked out after witnessing how dumb that whole slow-mo sequence was at the beginning with the kid getting pulled off his bike. Midnight family trailer. With less than 45 government-operated ambulances servicing all of Mexico Citys nine million population, there is an underground market and urgent need for first responders. This utterly captivating documentary, which premiered at Sundance to rave reviews and has picked up countless international festival awards since, centres on a family of private ambulance operators who struggle to provide emergency care while making ends meet. Director-cinematographer-editor Luke Lorentzens discerning camera sensitively captures the fast-paced action and tough decisions, made more dramatic by a broken system. In Spanish with English subtitles. Concerned about what will be on screen? See our Content Considerations page. There are no showtimes currently scheduled for Midnight Family "A wild — and remarkably eye-opening — ride. " Rolling Stone "Profound and thrilling cinema verité filmmaking. " Directed by: Luke Lorentzen Featuring: Juan Ochoa Fer Ochoa Josué Ochoa Manuel Hernández Year: 2019 Runtime: 81 mins Rating: PG Back to Top.

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Midnight Family In Mexico City, the government operates fewer than 45 emergency ambulances for a population of 9 million. This has spawned an underground industry of for-profit ambulances often run by people with little or no training or certification. An exception in this ethically fraught, cutthroat industry, the Ochoa family struggles to keep their financial needs from jeopardizing the people in their care. When a crackdown by corrupt police pushes the family into greater hardship, they face increasing moral dilemmas even as they continue providing essential emergency medical services. This was a good one lol. Me : wakes up see alien next to me i say hey Me: relieze its the alien fffffffff Alien whats up mother.

Midnight family documentary youtube. Midnight family documentary. Film Series: Stranger Than Fiction Midnight Family 2019, Luke Lorentzen, Mexico, 90 min. Show Times Fri, Jan 17th 8:15pm Tue, Jan 21st 8:15pm Wed, Jan 22nd 6:00pm Thu, Jan 23rd 8:15pm “Profound and thrilling cinema verité filmmaking…extremely visceral in the best ways. ”—Nick Allen, “Compelling…blends the engaging family dynamic of a Kore-eda drama with the socio-economic realities of a Ken Loach classic. ”—Allan Hunter, Screen International Emergency healthcare provided at breakneck speed and with the precarious action-packed outcome of a video game is the astonishing subject of this documentary set in the late-night streets of Mexico City, where ambulance service is largely left to the self-taught ministrations of wildcat EMT crews. The Ochoa family business is a private ambulance operated with gutsy determination but iffy compensation by dad Fernando, his two sons, and a family friend. Director Lorentzens camera captures the urgency and the drama of a life spent in the margins where other lives hang in the balance. Seventeen-year-old Juan emerges as the backbone of the family and the films level-headed hero, careening through the streets to beat competitors to accident sites and efficiently aiding victims of everything from traffic collisions to a beating by an abusive boyfriend. In Spanish with English subtitles. DCP digital. (BS) Play Trailer.

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Marriage family counseling degree. Family nurse practitioner schools online. Midnight family film trailer. Family id theft protection. Damn I broke at 12:38 😂😂😂. "Outstanding. Fantastically shot by the director Luke Lorentzen, the documentary develops an urgency that suits the life-or-death stakes onscreen. By turns terrifying and exhilarating, “Midnight Family” unfolds with such velocity that it may take a while for your ethical doubts to catch up to whats happening. When they do, they leave you gasping. " – Manohla Dargis, New York Times Critics Pick “Arguably the most exhilarating documentary to come out of Sundance this year, Midnight Family follows the Ochoa family—the gruff but compassionate Fer and his two underage sons, Juan and Josué—at intensely close range on these Sisyphean missions of mercy. ” – Museum of Modern Art and Film Society of Lincoln Center Included in the “10 Best Movies of Sundance 2019" A deft mix of big-picture doc-making and intimate moments. not to mention a wild—and remarkably eye-opening—ride. ” – David Fear, Rolling Stone “This 81-minute masterpiece will change the way you look at documentaries forever; its style reads like an action movie, its themes like a socio-political drama, and, yet, it still is very much a work of non-fiction, with a camera always exactly positioned to capture a society on the brink of moral collapse. – Jordan Ruimy, The Playlist “Profound and thrilling cinema verite filmmaking. The film is impeccably crafted by Luke Lorentzen… What matters most here is Lorentzens intuition—he knows during many stunning moments just where to put the camera in such close quarters, letting us observe as harrowing drama and cinematic poetry unfolds… 'Midnight Family' is extremely visceral in the best way. ” – Nick Allen, Roger Included in “21 Must-See Movies” at Sundance "An intimate verite documentary. the Ochoas emerge as fascinating embodiments of a country working overtime to correct its shortcomings and keep the lights on. This bracing U. S. competition documentary is poised to provide a personal window into the fast-paced mayhem of Mexico after dark. ” – Eric Kohn, Indiewire.

The startling fact that there are only 45 official ambulances amongst Mexico Citys 9 million-plus population sets the intense, harrowing stage for the Sundance winner Midnight Family. Following one family that runs their own operation, Luke Lorentzen takes an intimate look at the dedication required for such a task with a keen eye on the economic toll. With patients not requiring to pay, even if they may have died if not for this medical help, it creates a complicated situation when asking for the bill–and thats only if they can beat out all the other private ambulances racing towards the scene of an accident. I had a chance to see at Sundance and while one wishes this portrait was a little more fleshed out, the snapshot we get certainly sends a jolt, particularly in an unforgettable scene involving familial neglect. Ahead of a release this December, see the trailer and poster below. In Mexico City, the government operates fewer than 45 emergency ambulances for a population of 9 million. This has spawned an underground industry of for-profit ambulances often run by people with little or no training or certification. An exception in this ethically fraught, cutthroat industry, the Ochoa family struggles to keep their financial needs from jeopardizing the people in their care. When a crackdown by corrupt police pushes the family into greater hardship, they face increasing moral dilemmas even as they continue providing essential emergency medical services. Midnight Family opens on December 6.

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This movie is going to keep changing throughout the years. MOVIES 11:12 AM PST 2/11/2019 by Courtesy of Sundance Film Festival An intriguing perspective on health care in urban Mexico. A family-run ambulance business in Mexico City struggles to stay afloat in Luke Lorentzen's doc. A glimpse into the dysfunction of Mexico's patchwork of public and private health care, Luke Lorentzen's Midnight Family follows a family of EMTs through Mexico City as they struggle to make a living keeping other citizens alive. Though its micro view limits its usefulness in big discussions of public policy — it's easy to imagine American partisans using it as evidence both for and against government-run health care — it is a vivid reminder that all such policies are lived out by millions of individuals, who die every day when things aren't well run. Opening titles explain that in Mexico City, the government runs 45 public ambulances to serve a sprawled-out population of 9 million. That's nearly the entirety of what Lorentzen tells us directly in the film. Everything else we observe or infer during ride-alongs with the Ochoa family, who drive one of an unstated number of private ambulances that fill gaping holes in the city's delivery of health care. This observational approach gives the film its flavor, especially when it comes to family dynamics, but it makes things frustrating for viewers hoping to actually learn something. Lacking outside comment, we can guess but never be sure when the Ochoas are doing the right thing and when they're pushing an ethical line, maybe fatally. (Press notes make some things more explicit, but moviegoers don't get press notes. Whenever they pick up a patient who needs care they can't provide, for instance, they have choices to make: Go to a government-run hospital or a private one? Go to the closest facility or a further one that might be more affordable or better equipped? Leave the crowded-looking free hospital in favor of another down the road? At many junctures, the EMTs inform patients and/or their loved ones of the choices, speaking gently but usually presenting one option as smarter than others. They clearly have more experience than their customers with how the system works. But is their advice sometimes clouded by self-interest? After they've brought patients to a private facility in one scene, we see a staffer there hand over cash to the driver. Is this a shady kickback or part of a somehow legitimate transaction? The former seems likely, but we have no way of knowing for sure. We do, however, get a good sense that the role of police in this ecosystem is morally tainted. Ambulance drivers pay cops bribes in return for tips about accidents; cops hassle drivers, enforcing rules that seem to change arbitrarily. Questions of law and ethics aside, viewers get a visceral understanding here of the cutthroat nature of this private-ambulance business. Though they suffer through long bouts of boredom, the Ochoas leap into action when they hear reports of an accident: We race through the streets with them, often neck-and-neck with other vans trying to make it to the scene first. Whoever's riding shotgun mans the PA, shouting at drivers of other cars to heed the sirens and get out of the way. Juan Ochoa quickly becomes the film's star. Barely 17, he's far more professional than the older man we assume is his father. While slow-moving Dad tries to bum cash off his employee-children — he appears to have emptied his pockets for cops — perfectly groomed Juan hustles. He drives the ambulance, helps patients and reports on the night's frustrations in phone calls to his unseen girlfriend. He also does much of the undesirable job of asking for payment. Though Lorentzen mostly averts his camera's gaze when patients are around, he does listen in on some of the conversations about cost. A high-school girl who's been head-butted by her boyfriend weeps while she bleeds in the back of the van, meekly asking, Is this expensive. And shortly after, Can you please give me a hug to calm me down. Later on, another woman balks at the 3, 800 pesos the Ochoas charge for emergency transport (one of many items on their price list, that's roughly 200 U. S. When patients refuse to pay, that's that; as far as we can see, the EMTs have no recourse. What they do have is a matter-of-fact justification: When no government-provided ambulance arrived at the scene, what was your alternative? Production company: Hedgehog Director-director of photography-editor: Luke Lorentzen Producers: Kellen Quinn, Luke Lorentzen, Daniela Alatorre, Elena Fortes Composer: Los Shajatos Venue: Sundance Film Festival (U. Documentary Competition) Sales: Josh Braun, Submarine In Spanish 80 minutes.

Masters in family and marriage counseling. In Mexico Citys wealthiest neighborhoods, the Ochoa family runs a private ambulance, competing with other for-profit EMTs for patients in need of urgent help. MIDNIGHT    FAMILY can be described as guerrilla filmmaking.    Which makes it more current and exciting. The film begins with the camera following (literally behind the heads of the paramedics) an ambulance as it races to the scene of various accidents as the paramedics hear of them on the radio.    They arrive and do their medical work, often saving lives and preventing further duress but often earning no reward, monetary-wise.    If lucky, they might get some grateful thank you, but often than not, many of the victims refuse to pay and threaten them ungratefully.    It turns out that the paramedics are the males of the Ochoas family, private paramedics, who run a crucial, unregistered and underground act of saving and helping lives suffered from an accident. It is then revealed that in Mexico City, less than 45 government emergency ambulances operate for a population of 9 million people, resulting in a loose system of private ambulances taking care of the emergency healthcare.    The film follows the Ochoa family as they operate one of these vehicles.     But the job is riddled with police bribes and cutthroat competition as evident in one scene where their ambulance races against another to the scene of one accident, beating its competition only to have the victim claim that she has no insurance or money to pay for the service.    Worse of all, her apparently wealthy family refuses to pay either. The main character of the film is the 16-year old handsome son, Juan who drives the ambulance.    MIDNIGHT FAMILY could be classified as documentary though it hardly feels like one as    the incidents occurring on screen seem so exciting that it looks like fiction.    The film also focuses on the Ochoa family which have problems of having ends meet.    They need proper licences plates for their vehicle so that they will not be harassed by the police and these cost money. The film has a distinct sense of humour as depicted in the opening scene where a T-shirt can be read “It is not easy being cool, but I manage. ” when the camera also reveals the wearers crack from his low rise jeans.    The film is playful as the family members, who kung-fu kick each other or argue about food. MIDNIGHT FAMILY,    a well made little gem ends up a cinema vérité styled pretty cool take on the pressing realistic emergency health system in Mexico City.    Pity that there is no solution to the problem – but awareness of the film, provided by the film is a good start.    The film has already, at the time of writing won some 24 awards and various international film festivals around the world.    A solid piece of filmmaking that demands to be seen.    The film is filmed in Mexico City in Spanish. Trailer.




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