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HIGHWAY PATROLMAN

Mexico, 1992 (MIFF 1993)

Director: Alex Cox

Alex Cox has already made himself quite a reputation for eccentrtc humour (Repo Man) and an unflinching vision at the gritty truth of modern life (Sid and Nancy). Continuing in both courses, he has made his finest film yet in Highway Patrolman. Made in Mexico, (in Spanish) on a low budget, Cox gives us an uncompromising look at the nearly comic ineffectiveness of the values most of society espouses.

Pedro and his buddy Anibal graduate from the National Highway Patrol Academy in Matimi, Durango believing everything they are told. Pedro even falls in love and marries the daughter of a 'respectable' family. Soon, however, Pedro learns how things really work: a small bribe here, a favour there, the unwritten rule about leaving the gentry alone no matter what laws they break. His father-in-law is corrupt, his wife toughens up and nags at him to make more money 'like a cop should'. With a clearing of his vision Pedro decides that 'if you can't beat them...'

The film is tough and mean, with a black (and all too realistic) view of the law, police, citizens above reproach and marriage. It is also hilarious even if the laughs are dark.

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