Prayers for the Stolen

Prayers for the Stolen ★★★

Prayers for the Stolen is a Mexican film directed by Tatiana Huezo, adapted from Jennifer Clement’s novel of the same name. It’s about three young girls in rural Guerrero, a region of southwestern Mexico, growing up amid the drug cartels and human trafficking which is rampant in the area. I found it narratively a bit obfuscated at times - audiences are kept in the dark about the comings and goings of the traffickers in much the same way the girls are - but for everything it lacks in clarity, it makes up for in good moving performances from the young women at it’s core. That said, the laces just never came tight on this one for me. The style is almost documentary-like at times, and the choice to see an illegal war fought in the shadows through the eyes of adolescence caught in the fray is a powerful angle, but one we’ve seen many times before. I’m a little over drug cartel-porn in Mexican movies, and this one didn’t seem to add anything decidedly new to the conversation. That said, Mexican cinema is definitely in the midst of a good run these days, and I’m never going to say no to more stories from the region, I just wish there was a touch more variety. 

Seen on: Netflix
Films in 2022: #24