Watching the trailer for “Midnight Family,” you wouldn’t be crazy if you thought the new film was a thriller with a largely unknown cast. The footage is so tense and well-shot that it looks like anything you’d find in a studio film. However, Luke Lorentzen’s film is not fiction and is one of the best documentaries to come out of this year’s Sundance Film Festival.
As seen in the new trailer, “Midnight Family” follows the Ochoas, a Mexican family trying to just get by in Mexico City. Their meal ticket is a private ambulance that they use to rush to accidents in hope that they will be chosen to transport the unlucky victim to a hospital. You see, in Mexico City, there are only 45 ambulances services 9 million people, making the use of private ambulances commonplace. But as you find out, even with the lack of ambulances, it’s still really difficult for the Ochoas to make a living in such a cutthroat field.
In our review of the film from Sundance, we said, “Even if the Ochoa’s are, by and large, good-natured people, they lack the proper training to help many of these patients. The film doesn’t dig deep enough to confront these issues, but it is undoubtedly a thrilling ride, nonetheless.”
“Midnight Family” will arrive in select theaters on December 6.
Here’s the 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. With striking vérité camerawork, MIDNIGHT FAMILY drops viewers directly into this frenetic emergency ecosystem, where the Ochoa family run their ambulance service. While making a living in this cutthroat industry, the Ochoas struggle 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.