Fifth about The Seventh

Prayers for the Stolen (Noche de Fuego)

Prayers for the Stolen: Tatiana Huezo’s drama has such a naturalistic feel that it mostly resembles a documentary; that makes this sad, touching story all the more powerful. The film divides its attention between the harsh reality of living in an area essentially ran by drug cartels and the natural activities of a growing girl: playing with her two best friends, going to school, gently butting heads with her loving mother. The performances are quietly effective: Mayra Batalla, as the mother, shows the necessary amount of power and tough love; Ana Cristina Ordóñez González and Marya Membreño, as the child and teenager version of the protagonist, are very touching. Cinematographer Dariela Ludlow captures the rural area with a great deal of poetry. Editor Miguel Schverdfinger gives the film a mostly ponderous pace but generates some tension when it’s called for.

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