La libertad del diablo – Devil’s Freedom by Everardo Gonzalez, reviewed by Arianna Afsari


La libertad del diablo – Devil’s Freedom, 
directed by Mexican filmmaker Everardo Gonzalez, is a chilling documentary that delves deep into the complex emotions engendered by violence in Mexico. The film is essentially composed of a series of personal testimonies given by both the perpetrators and the victims of systematic violence in Mexican society, which is primarily instigated by ongoing drug crime in the country. Although an apparently simple documentary, Gonzalez manages to add a special visual element to make his film especially impactful –  the element of anonymity. Each face that appears on screen is one shrouded in a flesh-colored mask, stylistically similar those used to treat severe burn victims. Only the mouth, nose, and eyes of the speaker are revealed. Gonzalez utilizes the mask as his symbol for pain, and by omitting the speakers’ faces, he equalizes each person as a victim trapped beneath the suffocating weight of their suffering. Throughout the film there is no real examination of the nature of the violence that affects the interviewees, but rather, the emotional impact of its terror on the speakers.
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