Prayers for the Stolen

Director Tatiana Huezo / 2021 / Brazil,Germany,Mexico,Qatar

This adaptation of Jennifer Clement’s bestselling novel explores the visceral impact of Mexican drug cartels on the lives of three young girls.

In a mountain town ravaged by the cartel wars, three girls on the cusp of adolescence take over abandoned houses and play-act adulthood. For Ana and her two best friends, this world of magic and joy is vital – a necessary, if fleeting, respite from their mothers training them to flee from ever-present threats. But when one of the girls is abducted en route to their hideout, the world they once knew is plunged into darkness.

Following up her harrowing documentary on injustice, corruption and governmental incompetence, Tempestad, celebrated El Salvador–born director Tatiana Huezo makes her fiction debut with this filmic retelling of the eponymous 2014 novel. Receiving the Un Certain Regard Special Mention at this year’s Cannes and mirroring Tempestad’s poetic, forcefully engaging style, this coming-of-age story doubles as a scathing condemnation of Mexico’s violent drug trade – one that nonetheless finds moments of beauty and resilience in the grim, powerfully-rendered realism of its images.

“Tatiana Huezo has quickly emerged in the world of documentary as one of its most talented and thought-provoking directors of her generation.” – Variety

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