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David Zonana Heroic

Annual Top Films Lists

Top 200 Most Anticipated Foreign Films of 2023: #68. David Zonana’s Heroic

Top 200 Most Anticipated Foreign Films of 2023: #68. David Zonana’s Heroic


A sophomore feature that we thought might drop in ’22 will instead break out this month at Sundance. Mexican filmmaker David Zonana who gave us Workforce (world preemed in TIFF’s Platform section in 2019) moves into another system of servants and control in Heroic. Production began in September of ’21 and sees professional actors mixing it up with non-actors. Seeing that this belongs to the larger Michel Franco family — we can expect an acute critical POV on the mental toll that we find in such military college backdrops.

Gist: Luis, an 18-year-old boy with Indigenous roots, enters the Heroic Military College in hopes of ensuring a better future. There, he encounters a rigid and institutionally violent system designed to turn him into a perfect soldier.

Release Date/Prediction: This will receive its world premiere at Sundance’s World Cinema Dramatic Competition.

Eric Lavallée is the founder, CEO, editor-in-chief, film journalist, and critic at, established in 2000. A regular at Sundance, Cannes, and Venice, Eric holds a BFA in film studies from the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. In 2013, he served on the narrative competition jury 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 was a New Flesh Juror for Best First Feature at the Fantasia International Film Festival. Current top films for 2023 include The Zone of Interest (Glazer), Inside the Yellow Cocoon Shell (Pham Thien An), Totem (Lila Avilés), La Chimera (Alice Rohrwacher), All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt (Raven Jackson).

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