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THE HOLE IN THE FENCE (2021, MEX) – 6.5/10


From Mexico comes another metaphorical combination of thriller and drama that aims to show the inequality in the society there, and Joaquin del Paso’s debut feature film premiered in the Horizons section of the Venice festival. There is probably no country without social inequality and terrible differences in income between the social elites and those from the bottom of that social bucket, but it is precisely from Latin America that perhaps the most examples of such films come. And there is not only a huge difference in wealth, but the society here is so stratified that they have no contact with each other at all.

In order not to have contact with the local population, the owners of the elite conservative school for boys, where future leaders are raised, installed barbed wire around the camp located somewhere in the province. And the students under the guidance of teachers and priests there seem to go through certain rituals of growing into men, connecting with God, and mostly all these little white people spend their time harassing the scholar, who is a native by origin. But in addition to him, these spoiled and arrogant kids are cruel to each other, and as if that wasn’t enough, the headmaster of the school paid a local guy to play the role of an evil man who goes around and sneaks around the camp, which he enters through a hole in the fence.

Well, although the idea was interesting, somehow all that was lost to me in the rather slow pace and occasional monotony, and “El hoyo en la cerca” is one of those slow-burning films in which everything leads to the culmination in the very finale. Also, the topic dealt with by Del Paso has already been dealt with several times and we have actually seen it all, but it’s just as if all those elements that we usually expect in such films have been thrown in there. From the sadistic spoiled sons of their fathers who constantly bully those weaker than themselves to the frustrated and complexed teachers and priests, everything screams from the beginning that something very bad must happen here.