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Inside the 2011 Cannes Film Festival Day 3: Gerardo Naranjo’s Miss Bala

In a departure film of sorts for the director who gave us I’m Going To Explode and Drama/Mex, Gerardo Naranjo makes the zone/border that separates California from Mexico come across as Afghanistan. Not sure how close he sticks to the original biographical aspects of a heroine that essentially becomes a trafficked, bargaining chip in a messy war between the feds and drug gangs near and around Tijuana. With an EZ Pass ease, Miss Bala sprawls every which way, meaning points A to point B are totally unpredictable and the camera tracks actress Stephanie Sigman as if she were a parcel. Naranjo’s whirlwind tour of the network might be an exceptionally rare account — but somewhere it feels totally plausible despite there being no equivalent to bathroom breaks. Last night’s warm reception is a good indication of the film’s post-Cannes life. Here’s some footage of the world premiere of the Un Certain Regard selected film.

Eric Lavallée is the founder, CEO, editor-in-chief, film journalist and critic at (founded in 2000). Eric is a regular at Sundance, Cannes and TIFF. He has a BFA in Film Studies at the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. In 2013 he served as a Narrative Competition Jury Member at the SXSW Film Festival. He was an associate producer on Mark Jackson's This Teacher (2018 LA Film Festival, 2018 BFI London). In 2022 he served as a New Flesh Comp for Best First Feature at the 2022 Fantasia Intl. Film Festival. Current top films for 2022 include Tár (Todd Field), All That Breathes (Shaunak Sen), Aftersun (Charlotte Wells).

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