You can die young, and violently. The copious amounts of blood in La Hora Cero entered my dreams after watching this Venezuelan film at Cornerhouse. But don’t let that put you off! Nor the way the television reporter’s high heeled shoes caused her to slip in a puddle of blood. La Hora Cero is an incredibly good film.
It’s politics that’s behind most of what goes wrong. As always. In this case, both actively, and also because we are shown how the hero/bad guy Parca slips from being a nice young boy to adult paid killer, and if that’s not because of politics which causes poverty, which in turn sends young people the wrong way, then I don’t know what is. It’s not because he was evil.
The doctors are on strike. They probably want to be paid, or something. And then Parca discovers his childhood friend Ladydi (sic) heavily pregnant and shot, and there is no hospital to take her to (that is open), so he and his fellow thugs kidnap a young doctor, steal a car and take off for a private hospital where Miss Venezuela is about to have a boob job.
You can imagine the rest. It’s a bit like Assault on Precinct 13 (the original), except bloodier and with an even bleaker outlook as far as happy endings are concerned.
The medics do their bit, and the police are surprisingly competent as well. So is the Governor, if by competent you mean corrupt and looking after his own interests. With the help of morning television, which turns into afternoon television as the drama continues, Parca becomes more of a Robin Hood figure than he was. The striking doctors do the decent thing.
But that’s about as decent as things get.
Let’s look on the bright side. Some people are alive at the end.