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Official Selection


Mexico | 2016 | 95 min. | Colour
Film Synopsis
Mexico City, September 19, 1985. Early morning, in a Government building: all the employees have been called for a special meeting. While they get settled, a violent earthquake suddenly buries all of them beneath nine storeys of concrete and twisted metal. Stuck beneath the rubble of the building, the few survivors - amongst which Martin, the night watchman, and Fernando, a senior government official – are left alone in the dark, clinging on for their lives while desperately waiting for help.

DIRECTOR’S STATEMENT Chills and nostalgia accompany my memories. It's not the earthquake itself, or the objects bouncing and dancing, or the dizziness. It is not the fear and anxiety that stuck with me. My father was driving my brother and me down Havre Avenue in Mexico City when suddenly dozens of buildings collapsed like paper toys, just like that. I remember the smell, the smell of gas escaping from the pipes shattered beneath hundreds of tons of rubble. I remember the smell of death seizing my nose. It was very early in the morning. I remember the smell that taught me what death is. There is a saying in my country, a joke that has some truth to it, it says, “you already have something to tell your grandchildren.” And yes, this is what I want to tell them: It was 7:19 am on September 19, 1985. I was 12. An earthquake destroyed much of Mexico City, leaving thousands of people buried under rubble and thousands more without any utilities. The catastrophe reached Mexico. The greatest tragedy struck Mexico, a country that was not ready to take it.
Demián Bichir, Héctor Bonilla. Reparto: Octavio Michel Grau, Azalia Ortiz, Oscar Serrano, Carmen Beato