Midnight Family

“Midnight Family provides a stark snapshot of how truly broken the healthcare system is in Mexico City, where fewer than 45 public ambulances serve a population of 9 million. Luke Lorentzen’s documentary takes up residence alongside the Ochoa family, who earn a living — just barely — by operating one of the metropolis’ numerous privately owned ambulances, ferrying the injured to hospitals in hopes of being monetarily rewarded for their efforts.

“Though medically unstable Fer is the nominal head of the Ochoa household, it’s his mature 17-year-old son Juan who’s the clan’s real father figure. Theirs is a tenuous existence in which each night is spent hanging out in the ambulance waiting for a call. When emergency notifications arrive, they ignite harrowing races through Mexico City’s bustling streets, as the Ochoas try to beat rival EMT outfits to the scene and, then, to quickly strap the wounded into stretchers and load them into the back of their van.

“Midnight Family follows the Ochoas as they navigate an untenable state of affairs that links private ambulances, hospitals and police officers in a web of financial self-interest. The film achieves a powerful measure of suspense that’s intricately tied up in its despairing sociological depiction of a system that’s come apart at the seams.” - Variety

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