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Fernando Fernán Gómez,
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In Mexico City, a wealthy compound is surrounded by walls and surveillance system to protect the locals against the violence of the slums. During a stormy night, a billboard falls over the wall and three smalltime thieves cross the border through the breach to rob. They break into a house and kill an old lady; the residents organize militias to chase the delinquents. Two of them and one security guard are murdered by the vigilantes, but the sixteen year old Miguel hides in the basement of the teenager Alejandro. When Alejandro finds Miguel, he feeds and helps the boy, but it is impossible to escape from the Zone. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
In any large city of Latin America or the rest of the third world, wealth and poverty coexist side by side, not uncommonly separated by just a thin high wall. In typical fashion the rich appropriate the bulk of the country's wealth, a few of the poor reclaim a tiny portion back through robbery and muggings, and the rich react in turn by protecting themselves and even striking back. It's low intensity class warfare.
La Zona is an enclave, a walled-city with massive iron gates, widely scattered security cameras and around-the-clock monitoring. It's the modern equivalent of the medieval castle. Laying siege is a slum, where live the nemeses of the inhabitants of La Zona. They have come to this enclave out of fear, for protection against further assaults, to enjoy the good life in a secure haven. Many are angry. Some have been victims. Some are vengeful.
The story begins when, during a storm, the wall is breached and electrical power is lost. A threesome from the slum takes advantage to penetrate the enclave and steal a few things. The temporary invasion does not go well. Shots are exchanged. People die. That event sets the wheels of the thriller in motion.
The typical characters are present. The honest police investigator whose work is subverted by a corrupt police department. The good bad-guy, the bad bad-guy, the good good-guy and the bad good-guy. They are all there, some in multiple copies. It's formulaic, but effective.
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