Midnight Family

Luke Lorentzen
Mexiko, USA 2019

Sie hören in Fantasieuniformen den Polizeifunk ab, bestechen routiniert Polizisten und liefern sich mit ihrem rostigen Krankenwagen auf den verstopften Straßen von Mexiko City haarsträubende Wettrennen mit Konkurrenten, um als Erste am Unfallort zu sein. Die notorisch klamme Familie Ochoa betreibt mit ihrer halblegalen Laienambulanz ein nicht nur moralisch prekäres Gewerbe, weil sie ohne Ausbildung und Lizenz offiziell kein Geld für ihre anstrengenden Rettungseinsätze nehmen darf. Schwindelerregende Cinéma-verité-Nachtfahrt mit stark erhöhtem Puls durch  ein vollends dysfunktionales Gesundheitssystem als kinematografischer Mikrokosmos zivilgesellschaftlicher Verwerfungen.  (Stephan Settele)

Not your ordinary family drama, Luke Lorentzen’s documentary MIDNIGHT FAMILY takes us on a wild nocturnal ride through Mexico City, as a middle-aged father and his sons brave gargantuan traffic and corrupt cops to tend to the sick and the injured. A lack of official ambulances gives the Ochoa family a chance to operate their own. From the first site of blood inside their vehicle, we are in for a situational horror rich in contrasts: after the gory rescue of a man with a bullet wound, Lorentzen, who served as his own director of photography, cuts to the youngest Ochoa, not yet a teen and tagging along for a ride, blissfully gobbling down chips, his soccer ball by his side. But high-adrenaline jobs can also be addictive. The 17-year-old Juan Ochoa confesses his morbid fascination with gore and muses, “If there were no death, morticians wouldn’t eat.” Unsurprisingly, the film’s social microcosm is gritty, though it doesn’t lack for distractions: On the one hand, relentless competition; on the other, a sense of responsibility and compassion. By slowly revealing how hard and heartless it can be to earn money from misery, Lorentzen includes the Ochoas among those whom the state has failed. (Ela Bittencourt)

  • Juan Ochoa
  • Fer Ochoa
  • Josue Ochoa
  • Manuel Hernandez
  • Matías Barberis
  • Luke Lorentzen
  • Luke Lorentzen
  • Paloma López Carrillo
  • Los Shajatos
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