Everardo Gout | Mexico, 2012 | 90 min. US Premiere!
Co-presented by the SF Latino Film Festival
"It's like searching dark corners of your heart by the light of a blowtorch." – Paul Haggis
"Days of Grace will simultaneously rip your heart out, and have your mind reeling long after you have left the theatre" – Hugh Jackman
"Days of Grace, An unforgettable film that will touch the collective subconscious and the heart of a nation! When the collective unconscious comes to see images that awaken to reality.
A work of art that stirs our emotions as much as it sears our minds is not to be dismissed; one that forces our unconscious urgings to become manifest; one where melodrama has no place. Here is the vast world of misfortune and misery, violence and corruption, kidnappings and drugs. It is the world of Everardo Gout’sDays of Grace. It is virtue personified, and highly recommended.
This film and its cinematographic structure is worthy of study, for one of it virtues is its structure. More obvious virtues are the performances of the actors and actresses in the slums where no one escapes, and if one does it’s often not unharmed: violence without hate isn’t violence. Our misfortune [Mexico] has its seeds in the abysmal and visceral hatred among the different socio-economic classes. Another virtue ofDays of Grace is its proximity to the inferno of organized crime, an incurable cancer in Mexico.
Amores Perros by Gonzalez Inarritu isn’t the culminating point of our new national cinema. Nor is Luis Estrada’s Hell and its false neo-realism and cheap condemnation. Even less is Gerardo Naranjo’s Miss Bala, a minor film overrated by critics. Days of Grace is the people’s present for President Felipe Calderon and his drug war: an endless nightmare. The 2006 elections were, in no small measure, fate. It isn’t for nothing that one of the kidnappers in Gout’s film asks, "Who won? Lopez Obrador? " "I don’t know," is the answer.
This film is full of sudden shocks, not only because of the action, but also because of the camera work of Luis Sansans, from which we can’t turn away, even though we’re sick of stories of kidnappings, even though we prefer not to look. There is no escape. Days of Grace recalls to a great degree the realistic Brazilian film, Elite Squad 2, by José Padilha.
Critics should pause after seeing Days of Grace, and note that they are part of Mexico’s collective unconscious, in the presence of an unforgettable film. The golden age of cinema was defined partly by how it touched our nation’s heart. Days of Grace, with its extraordinary cast of characters, does the same. Don’t miss it. " - Mexico's MILENIO
"Set in Mexico City, the loco crime epic "Days of Grace" chaotically juggles ultraviolent action amid three televised Soccer World Cup seasons four years apart. What the sport has to do with jacked-up cops, badass crooks and a brutally pulverized hostage matters less than first-time writer-director Everardo Gout's desire to get his kicks wherever he can. Best when it's insanely over-the-top, Gout's intermittently engaging pic often resembles a trigger-happy 1990s Hong Kong thriller, and even culminates in a triangular faceoff. Its midnight screening at Cannes seems a harbinger of cult-film status, if not killer B.O. outside Mexico." - Variety
Scored by Nick Cave.