Guadalajara Film Festival: ‘El Enemigo’ examines the morality of revenge

"El Enemigo" (The Enemy) is one of the movies competing for the Guadalajara International Film Festival‘s  Best Ibero-American Fiction Feature Film this year.

The feature film by Venezuelan director Luis Alberto Lamata is a harsh, realistic take on the relations between the poor and the law in Venezuela’s capital, Caracas. Most of the drama unfolds in the corridors of one of the city’s hospitals as mother Antonieta Sánchez (Lourdes Valera) awaits news of her son Odulio’s (Dario Soto) surgery after he is brought in with multiple bullet wounds.

Meanwhile, upstairs, a young girl, Elisa (Daniela Alvarado), lies in a coma after having been caught in the crossfire in a gunfight between Odulio and a man he was sent to kill. Her father, Benigno Robles (Carlos Cruz), is a local district attorney and throughout the film, which in parts feels more like a piece of theater than a movie, struggles with his respect for the law and sympathy for Odulio’s mother as his only daughter lies between life and death.

In the same vein as films such as "Tropa de Elite" (Elite Troop) and "Cidade de Deus" (City of God), we see the personal dramas and struggles of the characters unfold against a background of extreme violence where the law is more theory than reality. A gripping film with rounded central characters, "El Enemigo" questions the relationship between justice and the law.

See the trailer for the movie in the video above.

— Deborah Bonello in Guadalajara, Mexico for La Plaza.