La Civil (2021) Film4, Directed by Teodora Mihai, Written by Habacuc Antonio De Rosario and Teodora Mihai

How much is your daughter worth? El Puma (Juan Daniel García Treviño) gives Ciero (Arcelia Ramírez) a price she must pay to see her daughter again. To keep her alive. He also demands her ex-husband’s truck. The smiling assassin and his companion assure her it’s just business. And she’d not to contact the police, because obviously in Northern Mexico they’re on the take and they’ll know.

Corruption is endemic. Part of the everyday economy. People just keep their heads down and get on with living their lives. They pay tax to the cartels. They do as their told and just hope it won’t be them or theirs. When that hope it taken away from Ciero, she refuses to stop believing she’ll see her daughter again. There are so many other women like her, but she is alone in the silent crowd.

She is willing to speak out. To stand out from the crowd and speak to the corrupt military tasked with dealing with the cartels grip on civil society and everyday life. She is trading her silence and collusion for her daughter’s life.

Her local knowledge is invaluable but she is told by the commander of the anti-corruption military group not to question him, or his bloody methods, which include extra-judicial torture and killings. Based on true events.

Friedrich Nietzsche: When you stare into the abyss; the abyss stares back at you.