La Zona (Mexico, 2007)

Running for your life

Whilst this film may go through the steps by ‘the numbers’ (a fancy way of saying it’s a bit predictable) it is bang up to date in its take on gated communities and private security. It’s so formulaic that a crucial plot point, where the bourgeoise boy befriends the ‘slumdog’ fugitive, is not even played out on screen. However, I don’t wish to sound overly critical because the film convincingly depicts how quickly out of control things can get when the law can be abrogated.

There was the terrifying case of Jamie Leigh Jones, an employee of Halliburton’s Kellogg Brown, who found that even though she was gang raped by her colleagues, the terms of her contract meant she couldn’t press charges – see here. Recently we found out about super-injunctions; Orwellian gagging orders (ie you’re not allowed to tell anyone you’re gagged). These assaults on an already weak democracy must be resisted and, as usual, ignorance is the strongest card the powerful have to play so films like La Zona that draw attention to such anti-democratic trends in society are to be celebrated.

Despite the denouement being pretty predictable, the elan with which it is shot – and the first shot of the film is terrific too – brings home the terror vividly.