MIDNIGHT FAMILY


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Director: Luke Lorentzen

Writer: Luke Lorentzen


Stars: Fer Ochoa, Josue Ochoa, Juan Ochoa


Imagine a member of your family. They were injured and they required immediate assistance. So you call for an ambulance. The ambulance showed up. Took care of your family. Drove you both to the hospital. Then they ask you for compensation. Would you be angry with them? Would you take it for granted that if you or your loved ones should fall ill or have an accident that they would get the help they need? The help they are entitled to. Why then would you pay good money for such a service?

This movie tackles this issue head on as we follow the Ochoa family, consisting of a lovable father and his, mature-for-their-age teenage sons, as they burn rubber to be the first paramedics on the scene. It emphatically delves into what it means to be part of a necessary and, what some might call, predatory occupation. Because even after charging large sums for their services, the family barely scrapes by after (required) bribes, legislation, arrests and competition make a dent on their bottom line.

Documentarian Luke Lorentzen is so close up to the action, and shoots so well the astonishing and heartbreaking scenes he encounters that this might be mistaken for a feature film. Few filmmakers would dare or even be able to come as close as Lorentzen does here, which allows him to reveal the ugliness of a system that in the end affects patients the most.

For a documentary it is a rare treat to experience something that is as entertaining as it is eye-opening, making Midnight Family something of a rarity.