Presumed Guilty: Documentary at L.A. Film Festival

One of the most buzzed about Mexican films in years, June 25 and June 26

By Roberto Hernandez
Published on LatinoLA: June 21, 2010

Presumed Guilty: Documentary at L.A. Film Festival

I write to bring to your attention and warmly invite you to the screening of a Mexican documentary that is showing at the LA film fest this Friday, June 25 and Saturday, June 26. Synopsis and press quotes follow.


Michael Fox at the San Francisco Weekly wrote:

"It's been a source of debate for decades in documentary circles whether the camera's presence alters the subject's behavior. The infuriating revelation of this profoundly charged crusade for justice is that Mexico's corrupt, ensconced cops, prosecutors, and judges have the audacity to behave pretty much exactly the same when filmmakers are recording them. This ultravaluable doc follows the campaign of Berkeley attorneys Roberto Hern?índez and Layda Negrete to free one of the countless innocent young men plucked off the streets, tried, and convicted (of murder, in this case). The heart of the film is a hard-earned retrial that is impossible to watch without a steep rise in blood pressure. (Let's just say the judge is a more loathsome scoundrel than any of the villains in this summer's blockbusters.) Although the defendant, a likable fellow named Jos?® Antonio Zuniga, is the focus of our emotional involvement and rooting interest, the question of one person's innocence eventually pales next to the pervasive immorality of Mexico's entire justice system."


Praise for "Presumed Guilty"

-WALL STREET JOURNAL -"A nightmarish journey into Mexico's legal system that seems lifted from the pages of Franz Kafka"

- VARIETY "A compelling human story of righteous indignation, heroism, and international importance"

- HOLLYWOOD REPORTER (2010) "One of the most buzzed about Mexican films in years."

- HOLLYWOOD REPORTER (2009) "When two lawyers were filming a retrial of a Mexico City street vendor falsely imprisoned for murder, Mexico's archaic judicial system had no place to hide

-SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE. "A kafkaesque tale of justice"

- REFORMA "Escenas del infierno de un sistema donde el peso de la justicia no radica en la investigaci??nÔǪSin embargo, el ojo de la c?ímara puede modificar el curso de la historia que registra."

- LA JORNADA "Presunto culpable toc?? fibras profundas... m?ís que ser una historia individual, es el retrato de una situaci??n que viven miles de personas en nuestro pa?¡s."

- EL UNIVERSAL "Una c?ímara registr?? todos los malos manejos de la justicia mexicana, el contubernio de los jueces, la prepotencia de los judiciales y los testigos falsos."

-EL PAIS "Un sobrecogedor relato."

-MILENIO "La cinta es estremecedora. No hay actores, s??lo mexicanos de la vida real."

-CRONICA "Una denuncia estrujante pero acuciosa del estado en el que se encuentra el sistema de justicia penal mexicano."

-EMEEQUIS "La historia es verdadera y aterradoramente com??n ha sacudido a quienes lo han visto."


Best documentary, Morelia International Film Festival(M?®xico 2009)

Best documentary, Guadalajara Film Festival (Mexico, 2009)

Amnesty award, Copenhague International Film Festival (Denmark, 2009)

Best documentary, Guadalajara International Film Festival (Mexico, 2009)

Best Bay area documentary, San Francisco Film Festival (USA, 2010)

Official Selection

Toronto International Film Festival, 2009

Doc Soup Calgary, 2009

4ta gira de Ambulante, M?®xico, 2009

Sheffield International Film Festival, 2009

Toronto, Human Rights Watch Film Festival, closing night film, 2010

Doc Point, Helsinki, 2010

Cartagena International Film Festival, 2010

Ecuador International Film Festival, 2010

Special Appearance, SXSW, Austin, 2010

New York Human Rights Watch Film Festival, closing night film, 2010

About Roberto Hernandez:
Roberto Hernandez is a Mexican student at UC Berkeley. His film "Presunto Culpable" has moved audiences in Toronto, Copenhague, Guadalajara, Morelia, San Francisco.
Author's website

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