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Race for the accidents

Midnight Family
Regissør: Luke Lorentzen
(Mexico, USA)

PATIENT HUNTING: The intense and up-to-date documentary Midnight Family follows a family-owned ambulance in Mexico City, and their extreme dilemmas between lifesaving and earnings.

Mexico City has 9 million residents, but fewer than 45 state emergency ambulances, we know from a text poster early in the film Midnight Family. In comparison, the ambulance department in Oslo and Akershus is "set up with 45 emergency ambulances during the day and 29 emergency ambulances at night", according to the Oslo University Hospital's website.

Car chase to the accident sites

In the Mexican capital, this has created a market for private ambulances operating in a legal and often also moral gray zone, with the goal of making money from the apparent lack of public services. American Luke Lorentzen's documentary follows one of these emergency ambulances, run by the Ochoa family, with father, two sons and a friend of the family in the car. They may not have the most up-to-date equipment or expertise, but by listening to police radio, they often manage to reach the scene of the accident before the state emergency crews. At times after the purest car chases in competition with other ambulances to do the potentially life-saving work – and hopefully also be able to collect wages for it.

The film provides some disturbing perspectives on privatization in the health sector.

The youngest son, who is of school age, is involved in the mainly nocturnal outings – while his older brother Juan (17) in practice seems to control the cowboy-like family business. Juan admits that he likes the adrenaline kicks he gets from work, but in several scenes we still see him treating patients with a striking. . .

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Aleksander Huser
Huser is a regular film critic in Ny Tid.

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