With the border between the United States and Mexico becoming an increasingly political chess piece in the battle over immigration and the fight waged in the war on drugs, it’s not a surprise that more filmmakers are finding storytelling inspiration against that backdrop. Its within that milieu that Gabriel Ripstein makes his directorial debut with “600 Miles,” premiering at the Berlin International Film Festival.
Starring Tim Roth, Harrison Thomas , Monica Del Carmen, Kristyan Ferrer, Craig Hensley, and Julian Sedgwick, the story follows an ATF agent who tracks a young gun trafficker, only to find the tables turned when he’s smuggled into Mexico. Here’s the full synopsis:
Arnulfo Rubio, a young Mexican, works with a gringo barely older than himself to smuggle weapons from Arizona to Mexico for a drug cartel. We follow him buying weapons, crossing borders and during his almost familial encounters with middle-men and clients. What Arnulfo does not know is that for some time he has been under surveillance by agent Hank Harris. Harris is a member of US law enforcement organisation ATF, an agency notorious for its dubious methods when it comes to combating Mexican drug cartels. One day Harris makes a fateful mistake; Arnulfo panics and decides to take the agent hostage and hand him over to his clients in Mexico. During their long road trip from Arizona to Culiacan the two very different men begin – albeit awkwardly – to warm to each other. But no sooner do they arrive at their destination than events come thick and fast. An inexorable spiral of violence is unleashed and their fates soon become inextricably intertwined. An utterly hopeless situation for Arnulfo, that leads to a deeply ambivalent, emotional ending…
In the exclusive clip below, you’ll see how the ATF agent is taken by surprise, kicking off a series of events that will put both his life, and that of the young man he targets, in jeopardy.
“600 Miles” has its first screening in Berlin on Friday, February 6th. Watch below.