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Lost in the Night

Directed by Amat Escalante, written by Amat Escalante, Martín Escalante and Paulina Mendoza. Produced by Pimienta Films (MX), Tres Tunas Cine (MX), Cárcava Cine (MX), The Match Factory GmbH (GE) and Lemming Film (NL).

In the cinema of Amat Escalante, a hyper-designed house in the middle of nowhere is always a sign of imminent trouble. A young man and his partner ingratiate themselves into this home of two celebrity artists, they suspect it hides the secret of a terrible, unjust crime: the forced ‘disappearance’ of anti-mining activists.

The class division may remind you of Bong Joon-ho’s Parasite (IFFR 2020), but Lost in the Night offers fascinating detours to fanatical religious groups, the art world, police procedures and diverse family lifestyles. Inexorably, tensions rise, threatening to explode. But will the truth ever become public?

Escalante, whose work has regularly appeared at IFFR, alters his style and approach with this new film. Largely absent is the previously jagged, glacial manner and the confrontational use of shocking violence. Even sexuality, while figuring in the plot, has a less ‘savage’ role to play. Following on from his extensive contribution to the Netflix series Narcos: Mexico (2018–2021), in Lost in the Night Escalante aims for a gripping narrative line and a clear delineation of the respective innocence or guilt of characters. But he does not sidestep the murky complexities of power, politics and persuasion in contemporary Mexican society.

Selected for Limelight at IFFR 2024.