Devil's Freedom

Hard to watch and harder to forget, this chilling documentary by Everardo González gathers first-person testimony from the victims and perpetrators of drug cartel violence in Mexico. Tales of kidnapping, torture, and execution accumulate as González moves from witness to witness, their faces concealed by plain brown wrestling masks; by contrast, the questions serve to unmask them emotionally, especially the guilt-ridden cartel soldiers. Like Joshua Oppenheimer’s acclaimed 2012 documentary The Act of Killing, this one dares viewers to recognize the sad humanity of those who commit atrocities and the furious humanity of loved ones who thirst for revenge; sitting calmly between these two groups are the torture survivors, whose suffering seems to have won them a preternatural wisdom. In Spanish with subtitles.