Director: Sebastián Cordero
Screenwriters: Sebastián Cordero

Institute History


Sebastián Cordero constructs a taut thriller and a bracing morality tale in this, his second feature film. In a small town in Ecuador, fear grips the public as a serial rapist and murderer relentlessly stalks local children. Into the center of this horror strides Manolo Bonilla (John Leguizamo), an ambitious television journalist who has famously been covering the case.

In this atmosphere already heavy with grief, tragedy strikes again when Bible salesman Vinicio Cepeda (Damián Alcázar), driving his truck through the town, accidentally hits and kills a young boy. Smelling a new story, Manolo visits Vinicio in detention, where he is awaiting trial and almost certain doom. But Manolo gets more than he bargains for when the abject prisoner offers him secret information about the serial killer in exchange for a sympathetic TV story about the accident. Hungry for a hot lead, Manolo investigates Vinicio's privileged clues, withholding this information from local authorities. However, it isn't long before his own safety—and perhaps even his soul—is at risk in the high-stakes gamble that his pact represents.

Handsome cinematography, charismatic lead performances, and a strong supporting cast round out this sobering look at the excesses of media and the connections between private choice and public responsibility.

— Shannon Kelley

Screening Details

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