Detective film director on the challenges of making a Mexico City police film – The Hollywood Reporter
A cop movie, directed by Alonso Ruizpalacios, follows two professional actors who are becoming cops in Mexico City, and the filmmaker tells Hollywood journalist the film was of personal interest.
“The opportunity to use my experience in fiction to delve into the world of non-fiction made it a true passion project for me,” says Ruizpalacios, who used a unique hybrid narrative approach to document the challenges world confrontation with two police officers in Mexico City – romantic partners, as well as on the streets – as they battle both rampant crime and internal corruption.
“There is a huge lack of understanding on the part of citizens as to how we are all participating in the impunity crisis,” Ruizpalacios said. “I want to help change our relationship with the police and break down the prejudices that remain deeply rooted in citizens’ perceptions of the police. The immersive process that the actors follow, a way of making the film itself, is a way of understanding what police officers go through on a daily basis. I hope this film becomes a catalyst to generate a larger conversation around our relationship with the police and how we can work together to reduce levels of impunity.
Ruizpalacio admits he faced a series of seemingly insurmountable obstacles in making the film he envisioned, especially in getting an authentic look behind the rigid, island walls of the forces’ secret, self-protective and regularly compromised ranks. order in Mexico City.
“When this film started to take shape, it quickly presented us with the challenge of showing things that were almost impossible to document about such an impenetrable group as the Mexico City Police,” the director explained. “How do we document the endless chain of extortion and all the nuanced behaviors surrounding it that our wonderfully generous characters, Teresa and Montoya, have so openly shared with us in interviews?” It soon became clear that fiction was going to be of help to us.
The filmmaker said that historically the film medium has helped shape the public perception of police officers, an aspect he wanted to use to his advantage both overtly and subtly. “Cinema also has a fascination with cops,” he says. “Since the heyday of cinema, this deep relationship between cinema and the police has manifested itself in all kinds of ways, making ‘crime film’ a genre in its own right. One of the layers that this film explores is a playful dialogue with this genre: by subverting the audience’s expectations of the genre, we intend to highlight the weak points and blind spots of our police.