Things were seemingly quiet one morning in Northern Mexico for a divorced mother and her daughter. That is until Cielo (Arcelia Ramírez) is run off the road by two gang members who demand a heavy ransom from her and her ex-husband – that is if she ever wants to see Laura again. Unable to come up with the proper amount of money in time and with police being no help, Cielo decides to take matters into her own hands.

Armed with a cell phone and a vengeful heart, Cielo follows strange cars to secluded locations, risking her life going into an unknown situation, not caring for her own safety. Eventually, she breaks the rules and asks the military for help and things get dark. Following along in the back seat, Cielo will check her morality at the door and do whatever it takes to find out where her daughter is.

A hauntingly brutal depiction of the lengths a mother will go to protect their child. In a country without the resources to help, she turns to a no holds barred military with their own way of getting things done. We follow her down the rabbit hole of desperation where as long as she gets answers, she doesn’t care how the information is obtained. Having faith in a system designed to protect you and eventually failing, you can’t help but forgive our heroine for what she does.

Co-written by Habacuc Antonio De Rosario & director Teodora Mihai, both in their feature film debuts, we travel into the unknown world of extortion and kidnapping. Unable to get help or answers, people will mortgage their beliefs and unleash the monster within. Filming in Durango, Mexico, with a cinema verite style that never blinks for a moment, you feel the pain of Cielo as she falls deeper and deeper into the depths of hell.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Reviewed online (screener provided by publicist), July 19, 2021. Rating: TBC. Running time: 140 min.

PRODUCTION: An Urban Distribution International release of a Les Films du Fleuve, Menuetto Films, Mobra Films, One For The Road, Teorema Films production. Producer: Hans Everaert. Executive producer: Tudor Reu.

CREW: Director: Teodora Mihai. Writers: Habacuc Antonio De Rosario & Teodora Mihai. Cinematography: Marius Panduru. Editing: Alain Dessauvage. Music: Jean-Stephane Garbe & Hugo Lippens.

CAST: Arcelia Ramírez, Álvaro Guerrero, Jorge A. Jimenez, Alessandra Goñi Buco, Mónica Del Carmen.

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