Interesting Mexican filmmaker Alonso Ruizpalacios (Gueros, Museo) presented himself in the main program of the festival in Berlin with this unusual documentary in which he questions the role and position of the Mexican police. We already learned a lot about how the police there (and probably in the rest of Latin America) work by watching series like “Narcos”, but Ruizpalacios chose a completely atypical, innovative approach and made a work that could be described as a hybrid of feature and documentary film. . From the beginning, “A Cop Movie” or “Una pelicula de policas” seems kind of weird, too acting and rigged and for a somewhat freer, artistic documentary, but it will soon become clear to us why. It seemed to me at first that it could be one of those films in which real people play themselves (something that Tanović performed in that film about collectors of secondary raw materials or Kiarostami in Close-Up), but the situation is quite different.
The film is divided into several segments, so in the first we meet Teresa, a 34-year-old policewoman from Mexico City who already has 17 years of experience in this business. While we follow her days at work, which means that she is also a midwife at birth because there is obviously not enough ambulance, she is also a narrator and tells her life story. Then we meet Officer Montoya and find out his life story and realize that the two of them are actually a couple. And in those moments, “A Cop Movie” seems to be one of those attempts to humanize cops, to portray them as real people who aren’t really bad at all, which is the perception of the average Mexican, but we also see bribery being the most normal thing for them. which no one cares about.
Although it seems strange, it seems that “A Cop Movie” is really a documentary with some directorial stamp because there are too many stylized, obviously acted and overemphasized scenes that it is clear that they cannot be real. Only when we get to the third part will it actually become clear to us what is going on here and what the catch is. We realize that the characters of Teresa and Montoya, according to real people they met, were embodied by actors who were given the task of going to the police academy and trying to understand from their own experience what it looks like. Raul Briones, who played Montoya, and Monica Del Carmen, who played Teresa, joined the police school, and for the purposes of this film, armed with experience and acquired knowledge, they embodied characters they really met.
They talk about their experiences and what it was like to be a police officer (better said a police scientist) and how they really felt how much police officers are hated in society, and it became clear to them why. This film was an unusual experiment in which the director initially prepared a classic humanistic view for the viewer, but in the meantime completely confused him, and in the end we understand the purpose and point of this hybrid – an attempt to prove how much the system collapsed and how they reported to the police, perhaps with good and honest intentions, in the end they are broken and adapt to such a system. Rating 7/10.
MORE MOVIE REVIEWS: SELVA TRAGICA (2020, MEX) Movie review, plot, trailer, rating