Prayers for the Stolen
From the producers of Roma, 'Prayers for the Stolen' is the debut feature from established Mexican-El Salvadoran filmmaker Tatiana Huezo (The Tiniest Place, Tempestad), and tells a powerful coming-of-age story set in a rural village dominated by the drug trade and the threat of human trafficking. Loosely adapted from Jennifer Clement’s 2014 novel, it follows the lives of three girls in Guerrero whose childhoods are overshadowed by the forceful and violent presence of the local cartel. The film pivots around Ana (played at different times by Ana Cristina Ordóñez González and Mayra Membreño) and her friends, whose worlds are governed by those wanting to turn them into slaves or ghosts. Trained by their mothers to flee at any moment and forced into extreme measures to evade capture, these young women must learn to abandon their femininity in order to navigate their harsh surroundings. As much a damning indictment of the hidden evils of an unjust war as it is a sensitive depiction of women living in the crossfire of gang warfare, this is an unforgettable story of friendship, family and survival uniquely told from a child’s-eye-view perspective. It won a Special Mention in the Un Certain Regard section of the 2021 Cannes Film Festival, and was Mexico’s official submission for Best International Feature Film at the 94th Academy Awards.
Starring Alejandra Camacho, Mayra Batalla, Norma Pablo
Director Tatiana Huezo