How far does a mother go to get her daughter back? That is the central question posed La civil, a film directed by Belgian-Romanian director Teodora Ana Mihai, which recently debuted at Cannes 2021.
Inspired by the true story of Miriam Rodríguez, an activist who searched for her daughter kidnapped by a Mexican cartel, the film follows Cielo, a woman whose teenage daughter, Laura (Denisse Azpilcueta), is kidnapped in northern Mexico.
“If you want to see Laura again, you will give me 150,000 pesos and that beautiful black truck that your husband drives,” threatens a member of the cartel in the trailer exhibited at the 2021 Cannes Film Festival.
The images show us that although Laura’s family paid the ransom, she is not returned. Cielo goes to the authorities, specifically Lieutenant Lamarque (Jorge A. Jiménez), to look for her, but the help given contributes little.
It is here that Cielo takes the case into his own hands and decides that it is time to find his ‘girl’. She will begin a meticulous job, which will lead to the capture – at her own expense – of those guilty of the death of her daughter.
Ovation for La civil at Cannes 2021
According to Variety, Mihai explained that the story of La civil was told by Miriam Rodríguez herself, to whom the film is dedicated after her assassination in 2017. “Out of respect for her and the many other victims, I hope this film can bring some positive change,” she said.
After the presentation of the film at Cannes 2021, The story, along with the performance of Mexican actress Aracelia Ramírez, who plays Rodriguez, received an eight-minute ovation at the international festival, after its presentation in the Un certain regard category, which brings together original productions in search of international recognition.
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