Past screening

Midnight Family

Directed by: Luke Lorentzen
Runtime: 1hr 21min Year: 2019
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Directed by: Luke Lorentzen
Runtime: 1hr 21min Year: 2019
Country: Mexico, United States
Last Screened: Tue 10th Mar 2020

There’s a severe lack of government ambulances in Mexico city - so families like the Ochoas have stepped into the breach.

Mexico City, Mexico. With a minuscule number of government ambulances in operation, an unofficial network of private ones prowl the city streets, competing for patients.

At night they scour the streets of the city in their second hand ambulance, coming to the aid of those in need – from whom they have to ask for payment. It’s the family business for the Ochoas: father Fer and his young sons Juan and Josué. Often it’s a nail-biting race to get to a scene before the competition – and then to get patients to a hospital alive.

With abundant empathy for their passengers, the Ochoas also need to make a living – and often ask for money up front. In their downtime, girlfriend problems, hunger pains, sleep, all have to be taken care of from within the ambulance. Times are tough, and about to get tougher: police demands are escalating, as are the kickbacks.

Director Luke Lorentzen’s Sundance and Sheffield Doc/Fest award-winning film, shot over three years from the narrow confines of the ambulance, captures the many shades of grey the Ochoas face each day. A gripping and humane portrait of Mexico, Midnight Family is well deserving of its many accolades.