Posted: 10/20/2008


The Zone [La Zona] – 44th Chicago International Film Festival


by Elaine Hegwood Bowen

Screening October 25 and 28 at the 44th Annual Chicago International Film Festival.

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In an astounding contrast of class, a group of young thieves venture into The Zone, an area in Mexico City where upper-class professionals have carved themselves out a utopia, free from crime, and only letting the underclass in as laborers.

The hired help carry passes, which allow then entry behind the thick, iron door that’s patrolled by around-the-clock security; just as The Zone is continuously monitored.

This doesn’t keep Miguel and his crew from illegally entering one night in order to commit a burglary. But after the dust settles, with one homeowner slain, as well as a guard and Miguel’s two hombres, Miguel has to fight like hell to get out of The Zone.

He befriends a homeowner’s son, who helps him out briefly but orders him to leave, because the entire development is looking for him. And while the vigilantes hunting him down have similar humble roots as Miguel, they have arrived, so to speak, and they want to dispose of him, just as they do their daily trash.

This film kept me on the edge of the seat, as I wished Miguel well, even though I knew the odds had been stacked against him, well before he even decided to enter The Zone.

For more info about the 44th Annual Chicago International Film Festival running through October 29, visit

Elaine Hegwood Bowen is a veteran public relations and journalism professional and former journalism professor. She’s publicist for her daughter, Hip-Hop artist Psalm One. A native Chicago South Sider, Elaine was a recent University of Maryland Bio Ethics, Health Disparities & Clinical Trials Fellow and winner of a Black Press Messenger Award.

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