Festival alum Natalia Almada follows Martin, the night watchman of one of the most ornate cemeteries in northern Mexico, where drug lords and corrupt cops are laid to rest. A documentary spawned from violence, The Night Watchman shows the end result of a chronic societal crisis. But Almada’s approach is poetic, not sociological, filled with striking surreal images of elaborate mausoleums that disrupt the pastoral landscape. As the cemetery, filled with widows tending to their husband’s shrines, constantly expands, the dreamlike quality of Almada’s filmmaking creates a disembodied atmosphere where the poor and living labor day and night for the rich deceased.
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