Mexico, 2017; 74 min.
Everardo González, one of Latin America’s most important nonfiction filmmakers, tackles the painful consequences of Mexico’s drug wars on its people in this widely acclaimed international documentary. Winner of film festival prizes in Berlin, Guadalajara, and Seattle, Devil’s Freedom presents harrowing testimonials from killers, soldiers, police, mothers, fathers, and children—all of whom wear stretchy skull-like masks over their heads, with crudely cut out holes around their eyes, mouth and nose. The masks give the interviewees anonymity, allowing them to speak freely, and at times, even soak up their tears. But the coverings also give them a haunting surrealism (reminiscent of George Franju’s Eyes Without a Face), and in a broader way, suggest that both victims and perpetrators are alike—all connected by the trauma of a war that has claimed thousands of lives. “Deeply compelling” (Variety), “spellbinding” (Screen), and “artistically daring” (Cineaste), Devil’s Freedom is both stunning human-rights exposé and cinematic fever-dream.
Sunday, April 8th @ 12:00pm
Followed by Q+A with Prof. Xóchitl Bada (UIC), Prof. Héctor García Chávez (Loyola), and Susan R. Gzesh (Executive Director, Pozen Family Center for Human Rights)
Everardo Gonzalez is one of the most important voices in Latin American documentary filmmaking and his work has been recognized in more than 40 countries and festivals around the world. His documentary, The Open Sky(2011) was nominated for the Silver Ariel for Best Documentary by The Mexican Academy of Cinematography. In 2007, his second feature documentary Los Ladrones Viejos (The Old Thieves) received several awards and honorable mentions such as the Silver Ariel Awards for Best Mexican Documentary feature and Best Feature Film Editing, the Golden Ariel nomination for Best Picture and Best Director Award for Best Documentary Feature. In 2003, his first feature documentary La Cancion del Pulque (Pulque Song) received the Silver Ariel for Best Feature Documentary.