By Francesca Yepes
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La Civil—a search for justice in a violent and sexist society 

New film, Le Civil portrays a violent sexist system where justice is hard to come by
Arcelia Ramirez stars in this drama about a sexist system

La Civil is a film about sexist violence and the fight for justice

La Civil is a heart wrenching and poignant film about a mother’s search for her daughter. It follows Dona Cielo a mother whose daughter, Laura, is kidnapped and held for ransom by a cartel in Mexico. 

We see Dona Cielo struggle to gather the ransom money, as she goes between various men in her life to find the funds. Despite raising the ransom money, the cartel doesn’t release her daughter and the police can’t—or won’t—help. Eventually Dona Cielo takes matters into her own hands and begins to search for her daughter herself, trailing possible cartel members and asking questions. La Civil is based on real stories.

Director Teodora Mihai originally planned it as a documentary, but turned it into a drama after being followed by cartels. It focuses on women’s experience in a society that doesn’t seem to care for them or their safety.  Throughout La Civil, Dona Cielo encounters women from various walks of life—from a shop worker to cartel runners. 

Each women occupies a different social status, but all face the same disregard for their voices, bodies and ideas. Both the army and cartels inflict cruelty on women.  Dona Cielo begins to realise how women are affected by sexist violence and how in turn that violence eventually impacts everyone. La Civil is beautifully directed with stylistic use of both static and hand held camera. Each shot feels incredibly personal and intimate. The sparse dialogue and sole focus on Dona Cielo’s viewpoint means that—just like her—we have no idea where her daughter is.

La Civil is about a mother’s emotional journey—it brings us along for the desperate ride.

Out on digital platforms from Monday 14 March

Life and Death in the warehouse

Warehouse work is now the most realistic option in many places for young people leaving education. Hidden behind a firewall of secrecy, distribution centres are the dark satanic mills of the present day. 

Pregnant women routinely fall below their target “pick rates” bosses set them. They are subjected to constant CCTV and algorithmic surveillance, “self-enhancement plans” and obsessive monitoring. 

Inspired by real-world events from Britain and around the world, Life and Death in the Warehouse tells the story of young Welsh worker Alys, who falls pregnant.  Her childhood friend Megan joins the warehouse on a fast-track manager scheme and is given the task of getting Alys’s pick rate back up.  Will Megan become a classic bullying manager to hang onto her job? And is she prepared to put Alys’s pregnancy at risk?

Available now on BBC iPlayer

Foresight is an anthology of short science fiction films by young black film makers living in Britain. It imagines futures and alternate realities of black characters.

In the first film, They Heard Him Shout… Allahu Akhbar, Zaid is released from prison to find himself controlled by the state. In the second, X US, two brothers journey to a new settlement on Titan and are overwhelmed as part of a massive group of migrants. And in The Future Isn’t… Dez digs up a scrap of the past that leads to a mission on an Earth ravaged by climate change.

On Film 4 every day for a week from 14 March and then available to stream on All 4 

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