Mexico City. With a minuscule number of government ambulances in operation, an unofficial network of private ones prowl the city streets, competing for patients.
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.
★★★★ “An alarming look at Mexico’s ambulance cowboys” - Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian