Midnight Family. 2019. Mexico/USA. Directed by Luke Lorentzen. Spanish with English subtitles. 81 min.
In Mexico City, there are fewer than 45 government-run ambulances to serve the city’s population of 9 million. Filling the void are family-run private “operations” (often little more than a single, beaten-down van), who race to the scene of an accident or a crime while also dodging police shakedowns, cutthroat competitors, and standstill traffic. Arguably the most exhilarating documentary to come out of Sundance this year, Midnight Family follows the Ochoa family—the gruff but compassionate Fer and his two underage sons, Juan and Josué—at intensely close range on these Sisyphean missions of mercy. Though their wages of fear bring the scarcest of financial rewards, the Ochoas persevere, knowing they alone can save the girl with the traumatic brain injury or the teenage victim of domestic abuse from tragic ends. New York Premiere