Netflixable? The Mother of a “Disappeared” Mexican learns to join those making “Noise (Ruido)” about this crime

The grey-haired woman whose daughter disappeared is as startled to run into the third prosecutor/investigator assigned to her daughter’s case while out hunting for her child herself.

What’s he doing here?

“Fixing other people’s mistakes,” he buck-passes. And her?

“Doing other peoples JOBS.”

The best Netflix movie with “Noise” in the title is Natalia Beristáin’s film about Mexico’s “desaparecida,” another Latin American country — like Argentina and Chile under military junta rule — that is seeing tens of thousands of its young people disappear.

Beristáin, a feminist filmmaker known for “The Eternal Feminine” and directing several episodes of TV’s “Mosquito Coast” adaptation, takes us inside the end game cost of a country not just losing its drug war, but one that has all but capitulated to the cartels on the other side.

A solitary mother (Julieta Egurrola), an artist who works in textiles, begs, rages and hires outside help when the indifferent, corrupt and cowardly police refuse to help her locate her missing 20something daughter.

Her estranged husband (Arturo Beristáin) and agent is just as upset, but putting on a brave face that is little comfort. At least her first visit to a support group gives her some relief, the realization that she is not alone, an outlet to tell her story.

Some 90,000 Mexicans — young people, women mostly, and journalists, perhaps even a cop or two who isn’t on the take — have vanished in the country’s war on the people who feed America’s appetite for illegal drugs.

“Noise,” like the Argentine classics “The Official Story” and “The Disappeared,” will follow Julia as she retains a lawyer/researcher (Teresa Ruiz) to carry out her own search. They visit morgues, wary, lazy and cover-up prone local police. And they join scores of other mothers who have learned to carry out their own “killing fields” searches for evidence of mass graves and something that might identify their missing loved ones.

“We had to teach ourselves how to do such missions,” a veteran of this particular hunt confesses.How long has she been searching? “Nine years.”

The “Mexican Femicide” graffiti covers the cities, and Julia even meets the youngest and the angriest, girls and young women taking to the streets in ever-growing, ever-rowdier protests.

None of which matter to the “Men With Guns,” criminals and the uniformed state-payroll goons who are more interested in silencing “trouble-makers” than stopping a nationwide crime wave and giving these families some peace.

As a movie, “Noise” is a slow starter. The picture comes to a complete halt for the necessary but overlong opening act “support group” scene, and has pacing problems into the nerve-wracking, infuriating and disheartening third act.

But it quietly takes hold of the viewer with patience, a gripping story that has plenty to say to audiences all over the world, especially those with under-policed police, accepted corruption at the highest levels, where a “War on Women” is a political policy, even if it’s never been declared.

Rating: TV-MA, violence, smoking, profanity

Cast: Julieta Egurrola, Teresa Ruiz, Adrian Vazquez and Arturo Beristáin

Credits: Directed by Natalia Beristáin,  scripted by Natalia Beristáin and Diego Enrique Osorno. A Netflix release.

Running time: 1:45

About Roger Moore

Movie Critic, formerly with McClatchy-Tribune News Service, Orlando Sentinel, published in Spin Magazine, The World and now published here, Orlando Magazine, Autoweek Magazine
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