Movie Short Review: ‘The Fare’

Greetings again from the darkness. The opening screen informs us that this short film from Writer-Director Santiago Paladines (from Ecuador) is “Inspired by True Events”. Twenty stressful minutes later, we are left wondering just how many times situations like this are repeated.

Javier (Johnny Ortiz from McFARLAND, USA) is a driver for a group that transports undocumented immigrants from Ecuador into the U.S. Javier is trying to prove himself to the gang leader (Eduardo Roman) so that he can take on more responsibility. As you might imagine, it’s not a pretty business and things get really tough to watch when 12 year old Cristina (Noemi Pedraza) is part of Javier’s latest pick-up. It’s at this point where the unthinkable occurs and human trafficking rears its head.

By design, there is no back story for any of these characters. All that matters is the moment. The haunting music of Erick del Aguila adds to the tension as this compelling story unfolds and we are reminded that no matter how dark the moment appears, we always have the choice to do the right thing. The story will likely stick with you, as will the complex issue of undocumented immigrants and workers.

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