Spain/Mexico, 2007, 97 minutes
Sat, May 3 / 9:30 / Clay / LAZO03Y
Mon, May 5 / 2:00 / Kabuki / LAZO05K
Wed, May 7 / 9:30 / Kabuki / LAZO07K
Rodrigo’s Plá’s taut debut tackles some disturbing consequences of a widening gap between haves and have-nots in contemporary Mexican society. The titular zona, a wealthy suburban gated community, is fortress-like in its remove from the surrounding population. Its privatized, ultra-high security measures—massive walls, gates and barbed wire, a legion of security guards, surveillance cameras and parabolic microphones—insulate the neighborhood not only from the poorer outsiders so deeply feared by its residents, but also from the Mexican police and the state at large. Self-governing, la zona proves a sparkling community with trimmed hedges and no privacy, a prison with golden bars keeping people in as much as out. When a group of disadvantaged teenagers nevertheless breaches the imposing security defenses, and one youth is inadvertently trapped inside, the residents must determine how best to continue insuring their hermetic distance from society at large. They decide to deal with the intruder on their own. With the look and feel of a realist drama, the film slyly adds hints of Stepford Wives and Escape from New York, helping this genre-bending, speculative allegory confront the hypocrisy and dementia that results from the debilitating fear gripping the upper-middle class. La Zona won the 2007 Venice Film Festival’s award for best debut feature.
Presented with support from the Consulate General of Mexico, San Francisco and in association with the International Latino Film Festival. New Directors Prize contender. Sponsored by Virgin America.