Directed by Luis Aguilar
Starring Christina Alanís
Written By Jack Bottomley
Certain subjects come with a certain expectations. For instance a film about animal abuse is likely to use distressing imagery to anchor the point of such horrible occurrences. So it is with some level of surprise when a film instead takes a different path and Luis Aguilar’s short Drama (that runs just shy of 7 minutes) does just that. From the film’s opening images of product crammed shop fronts and the dark Mexican night pierced by the lights of the traffic and stores, this film has the look and feel of a documentary and by the poignant closing moments, in many ways, it becomes a quasi-documentary short. The film looks at a lady (Christina Alanís) finishing her day at work and preparing to meet a man called Tavo and as the night stretches, she waits longer and longer for him to arrive.
Selected for the Regent Park Film Festival, Green Screen Fest, the Cairo Video Festival and the RATMA Film Festival, Crucez (which translates as Crosses) is a film that deserves a viewing. Carmen Tijerina’s camera work really gives the film a realistic feel, almost as though we are stood waiting with Alanís’ character. The premise is simple but surprisingly layered and effective come the open end. The film may lack a firm resolution but that is to its power and aids the themes of lingering fear among this section of the Mexican community. Aguilar injects the film with a factual basis and as opposed to going the route many stories and films do when covering this area, Crucez is less all guns blazing and instead far more nuanced and ambiguous, which helps build up to the closing moments of the film. Crucez is a short film that fills its time with uncomfortable and unknowing waiting and in doing so comments of the fallout of the “Guerra Contra el Narcotráfico” (Mexican Drug War) in 2010 and how it has effected the Monterry, Mexico community.
Specific mention is made of Mariano Rincón Street and the film cleverly weaves a fairy ordinary event of a woman waiting to meet up with someone, with a gritty and real fear affecting modern day drug violence culture. The film is awfully short and lacks the space to allow the lead to expand her performance very far but Alanís is utterly believable throughout and the tone of the story has you invested for every second. In many ways it would be interesting to see a documentary tackle the issue that is at this film’s core because there must be many stories out there that deserve to be told. Crucez may be brief but it concludes with emotional heft and is backed by factual events making its story a powerful one. As opposed to overdoing it, Aguilar has made an effective little film about a real issue and how people are still living with or in fear of the fallout.