The film swings back and forth from scenes of pastoral bliss to brutality, generating a narrative that, while unfocused, is nevertheless anchored by the tender and wounded performances by its adolescent cast.
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"Prayers” stands as a continuation of [Huezo’s] brilliance and expands it to a storytelling format with distinct tools for engagement, yet the impact is just as searing. Huezo’s ardor for humanistic examination loses no fire in this metamorphosis.
The film may be called “Prayers for the Stolen,” but it is much more a heartbroken lament for the circuits that are broken when the stealing happens, and for the spaces the stolen leave behind.
There’s a haunting beauty to Tatiana Huezo’s depiction of the gradual cross-contamination of childhood innocence and criminal aggression.
The result is a film made of loosely connected scenes, the best ones floating between observation and storytelling, not unlike a dream.
A movie that progresses at this rate gives you a lot of time to pick over what it’s really getting at.
Of all of the things Tatiana Huezo captures in Prayers for the Stolen, her first narrative feature, the terror of the night is most unnerving.
As a portrait of a besieged community carrying on as best it can, the film is keenly observed, its character observations lucid and engrossing.
Told through the lens of three girls as they grow up in a rural town in the Guerrero mountains, Huezo’s film is a murky, mesmerizing look at what it feels like to come of age in a place where young women have a target on their backs, and where the adults are as powerless as the children.
Huezo’s picture, which is loosely adapted from a novel by Jennifer Climent, is distinctive in its child’s-eye-view of this most abnormal of normalities.