Mexico City is a sprawling metropolis that houses 9 million citizens—and fewer than 50 public ambulances to ferry the ill and injured to hospitals. Enter the operators of private (and, often, illegal) ambulance services who attempt to fill the gap and earn a living, however meager.
Fer Ochoa and his 17-year-old son Juan live in the gray area of the law, where genuine concern for their patients drives their awe-inspiring hustle. But the constant threat of poverty looms, among other troubles. Competition in the for-profit EMT industry is cutthroat, and even if the Ochoas are the first care providers to arrive on the scene, they must still negotiate corrupt police officers, the inability (or reluctance) of patients to pay for their services, and the moral implications of profiting off the worst moments of peoples’ lives.
To make this harrowing documentary about a healthcare system—and a family—on the apparent verge of complete collapse, director Luke Lorentzen rode along with Fer and Juan as they sped through congested streets, bellowing through loudspeakers at surrounding vehicles to get out of the way (“We could be saving your family!”) He earned a special jury award for cinematography at Sundance for his efforts.
Sponsored by Colorado Office of Film, Television & Media
Producer: Luke Lorentzen, Kellen Quinn | Editor: Luke Lorentzen | Cinematographer: Luke Lorentzen | Screenwriter: Luke Lorentzen