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Highway Patrolman

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“I used to think Highway Patrolman was about the impossibility of doing good,” notes director Alex Cox of one of his favorite films. “But now I think it’s really about the impossibility of imposing goodness on others.” Inspired by the experiences of former Mexican lawman Poncho Granados – who served as a driver for Cox while the director was scouting locations for his 1987 film Walker – this south of the border crime drama follows a rookie member (Roberto Sosa) of Mexico’s national highway patrol, who struggles to keep on the straight and narrow in a department rife with corruption.
As film critic Kevin Thomas wrote in the Los Angeles Times: “While it rightly skewers American hypocrisy and complicity in Mexican drug- trafficking, [it] abounds in the timeless virtues of traditional filmmaking… There is an epic quality to the hero’s odyssey that recalls the Westerns of John Ford and such John Huston films as The Treasure of the Sierra Madre … A beautiful, gritty film, steeped in the atmosphere of vast, desert-like vistas slashed by highways sizzling in the heat.” (Dir. by Alex Cox, 1991, Mexico/USA/Japan, in Spanish with English subtitles, 104 mins., Not Rated)

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