Prayers for the Stolen

2021 [SPANISH]


IMDb Rating 7.3 10 2134

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Uploaded By: FREEMAN
April 29, 2022 at 01:22 PM



720p.WEB 1080p.WEB
1021.33 MB
Spanish 2.0
24 fps
1 hr 51 min
P/S 7 / 53
1.85 GB
Spanish 2.0
24 fps
1 hr 51 min
P/S 11 / 48

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by ferguson-6 7 / 10

no innocence in this childhood

Greetings again from the darkness. This is Mexico's official Oscar submission for 2021 Best International Feature Film. Written and directed by Tatiana Huezo (her first narrative feature), the story is adapted from the 2014 best-selling novel by Jennifer Clement. It's an unusual film that lacks a traditional plot, and instead focuses on the daily lives within a small village in Mexico.

Young girls Ana, Paula, and Maria are good friends. They live in a poverty stricken area, and most of the males work in the quarry/mine or for the cartel, leaving women and children to make do scrounging for food and working in the poppy fields at harvest time. Rita (Mayra Batalla) is Ana's mother. She's a proud, hard-working woman who is very protective of her daughter. Why? Well the area is patrolled by the cartel, and neighbors regularly go 'missing' - especially young girls. When Ana shows up wearing lipstick, Rita doesn't find it cute. Instead she serves up a harsh reprimand to the girl too young to understand the risk.

Our view is from Ana's perspective, and there are two distinct halves. In the first, Ana and her friends are very young (likely between 7 and 9). When we flash forward, the girls are 13 or 14. As a youngster, Ana is played by Ana Cristina Ordonez Gonzales, and she cries when her mother chops off her long hair and styles it like a young boy. This is not done for punishment, but rather to make her less desirable to the cartel. Her friend Paula goes through the same ordeal, while Maria's cleft palate is deemed to serve the same purpose. As a teenager, Ana is played by Marya Membreno, and the haircut no longer hides her femininity, though her friend Maria faces a tough decision when medical assistance becomes available.

Director Huezo and the actors do a superb job in conveying the ever-present aura of danger hovering over the village. Rita digs a grave-like hole as a hiding place for Ana, and their strategy is put to use. In one particularly tense scene in conflict with the cartel, what keeps Rita alive is that she works in the poppy field - so she is viewed as an asset. As if possible starvation or abduction aren't enough to keep everyone worried, the poppy fields are sprayed with poison in an attempt to control the crops - only the poison gets dumped on the village instead, as the helicopter pilots have been bribed and threatened by the cartel.

This is a haunting film and we connect quickly with Rita and Ana. We feel the relentless pressure of living in an environment where the cloak of danger is always worn and constant fear is a part of daily life. School provides the girls with a glimmer of hope, although it's fleeting. This is no place for childhood innocence, and the responsibilities of parenting are almost beyond anyone's ability. Cinematographer Dariela Ludlow perfectly captures the images, the acting is terrific, and director Huezo has delivered a gem.

Available on Netflix beginning November 17, 2021.

Reviewed by carlesmiquel 10 / 10

One of the hardest films to watch now

Horror, even the weird and most brutal films are just that, scary films. Noche de Fuego, based on Jeniffer Clement's "Prayers for the Stolen" is a radical departure from films that tackle the world of drugs and its consequences. Tatiana Huezo's film is an introspective into the life of three children as they grow in a world of violence in the mountains of Mexico where most people work in the world of opium harvesting. Harrowing and crude, the film goes into the depths of humanity, seen from the eyes of three young girls who fear the possible threats of only "living" as kids. The performances are stunning. The casting is superb. The DP created a visual masterpiece. With Tati at the helm, this rollercoaster of a film, will keep you nailed to your seat as it will be engraved in your mind for years to come. At Cannes, the film had wild reviews but, above all, an audience who couldn't believe what they experienced through the first Festival that chose it. A complete success!

Reviewed by samxxxul 7 / 10

Loss of childhood innocence: A living nightmare that just goes on and on...

Tatiana Huezo Sánchez who is best known for her documentaries, turns her attention to fiction with a coming of age drama based on Jennifer Clement's novel of the same title. It tells the story of Ana and her two best friends who discover a shocking reality - and a hostile world amidst the drug trafficking in Mexico. It gives a personal touch to something we hear at a distance on the internet. From the first moments of the film, Tatiana chooses to film this through the details, her camera focussing on the minutiae of the environment. She plunges us into an peaceful atmosphere, behind the lush green setup, we feel a discomfort and a lively tension underlying between the villagers. They depends on poppy harvest to make ends meet. There are semi-detached houses with hiding place and girls are made to sport boyish haircuts to escape from the eyes of human traffickers. There is absolutely no hope for the little girls and they tend to get worse as time goes on.

Initially, I was just expecting another usual documentary with realism tag, while storyline does follow the formula, its the treatment that appealed. It has a lot more than one would expect. It seems like a tearjearker war film, but when you dive into it you'll likely see a different pov. The pacing is easy and there is no rush on Tatiana's behalf to get to 'the story', as it were, but rather a strong sense of atmosphere and indulges the viewer through this lack of urgency. It contains an atmospheric and evocative cinematography by Dariela Ludlow Deloya. It is supported with subtle score by Jacobo Lieberman and Leonardo Heiblum. As well as adequate sound design by Lena Esquenazi.

Overall, it is a great proof that this film depicts childhood and adolescence of three girls is by no means exaggerated. It's blends early Jorge Silva, Marta Rodríguez, Alanis Obomsawin's style and is almost like a companion piece to Identifying Features (2020) and Birth Certificate (1961); both thoroughly bleak and does scream for help with no chance for hope.

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