“A police movie” or why talk about a film without (so many) spoilers

The edge of midnight in Room 4 of the Cinépolis Centro complex, one of the so accustomed venues of the Morelia International Film Festival (FICM). The room is practically full. Two rounds of applause for the feature film “A police movie”, which this Thursday night had its premiere in our country within the Mexican Feature Film competition in the 19th edition of the film meeting.

It is the third feature film in the brief —but meteoric— trajectory of the filmmaker Alonso Ruizpalacios (Mexico City, 1978), who was present at the screening together with producers, actors and those who do not act but appear in this film that dilutes —is more , plays with— the boundaries between fiction and documentary.

How to talk about a film whose attributes are better not to detail and better to delegate to the surprise factor in favor of the viewer? What a desire to tell it all, completely, to point out this and that, qualities of Ruizpalacios’ already characteristic self-assurance to break the curtain between the cinematographic perspective and the story that is told, with a commendable ability to enter and exit narrative formalisms. When did the culture of silence and the now recurring Anglicism “spoiler” imposed on us? What has more value, the narrative construction work itself or the deus ex machina effect? It is better not to get into rough edges … but, if there is a mockumentary, is there a false fiction?

Let’s leave it like this: from the outset and in the trailer itself, the feature film is presented as “a Netflix documentary” which, incidentally, will premiere on the streaming platform on November 5.

Although it is not a secret that the film stars the actors Raúl Briones and Mónica del Carmen, who, based on an exhaustive and documented character appropriation work, play a couple of ex-police officers in real life.

In the note “La civil, an inexorable search on the edge of realism and fiction”, published in the October 28 edition of this newspaper, the writer highlighted the mettle of the director Teodora Mihai and the screenwriter Habacuc Antonio de Rosario to narrate a fiction that, as the title anticipates, uses the techniques of a documentary maker.

And after witnessing the film in Room 4 of the projection complex in the downtown area of ​​the Michoacan capital, the writer entered into a dilemma: “Am I really going to repeat myself? Will I point out again the dissolution of fiction and documentary? Is it a trend in Mexican cinematography? I promise to find out. “

Back to the applause

Let’s go back to the scene at the end of the first screening of “A police film” in our country, within the framework of the FICM. The second round of applause went on even longer. The cast of the film, the producers Elena Fortes and Daniela Alatorre, as well as Teresa and Montoya, the couple of ex-police officers on whom, in many ways, the film falls, remained standing, thanking those present in this first contact of the film with the public that will best understand it for its considerable idiosyncratic Mexican content.

The credits had ended and the audience remained in their seats. A person close to where Ruizpalacios was told him: “never before would a Q&A (question and answer session) have been appreciated as at this time. It seems that people have a lot to ask them ”.

And there was no question and answer session, as is customary at the end of some screenings at the festival, especially when those responsible are present, but Ruizpalacios, the actors, as well as Teresa and Montoya were approached by several people in the corridor of the room: they asked for signatures, they had questions, they wanted to hug them. A young woman, notably moved, simply burst into tears in the arms of actor Raúl Briones. What awareness capacity of this tape. Go aesthetic awareness when filming. What a dare of its director to break the norm.

Once the films are seen, everything makes sense: well-deserved Silver Bear to the Artistic Contribution of the last Berlinale to Yibran Asuad for his work in editing the film.

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