09 20 Oct '24
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Teodora Ana Mihai

La Civil

135' - 2021 - Drama - Dialogue: Spanish
Director: Teodora Ana Mihai Composer: Jean-Stephane Garbe, Hugo Lippens With: Arcelia Ramírez, Álvaro Guerrero, Jorge A. Jimenez

La Civil tells the story of Cielo, a mother in search of her daughter, abducted by a criminal gang in Northern Mexico. As the authorities fail to offer support in the search, Cielo takes matters into her own hands.

Cielo begins her own investigation and earns the trust and sympathy of Lamarque, an unconventional army Lieutenant working in the region. He agrees to help Cielo in her search, because her research data could be useful to his operations as well. Cielo’s collaboration with Lamarque pulls her further into a vicious cycle of violence.

The film focuses on Cielo’s emotional rollercoaster, as she is drawn into increasingly intense and dangerous circumstances. The camera stays close, we never lose sight of her as she gradually transforms from housewife into avenging activist.

As events unfold, Cielo gets closer to the truth: discovering a mass grave, obtaining official DNA analyses, confronting one of the presumed kidnappers, but corruption and apathy keep her from finding resolution. Until the end finally comes, unpredictable and uninvited...

"The first dramatic feature from Belgian/Romanian documentarian Teodora Mihai is a gripping thriller that balances tension with a nuanced portrait of the culture of violence that has come to define modern Mexico. (...) La Civil paints a compelling picture of a society in which nobody can be trusted and everyone is complicit in a neverending cycle of violence, intimidation and revenge. It also steps beyond that to show that the good guys can be shockingly violent in their actions and that the bad guys have families too. The bitter irony of La Civil rests in the simple fact that everyone is someone’s daughter or someone’s son." - Screen Daily

Image gallery

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Teodora Ana Mihai


Jean-Stephane Garbe, Hugo Lippens


Arcelia Ramírez, Álvaro Guerrero, Jorge A. Jimenez


Teodora Ana Mihai, Habacuc Antonio De Rosario

Director of Photography

Marius Panduru


Alain Dessauvage


Hans Everaert

Production studios

Menuetto Film



More information



Countries of production

Belgium, Mexico, Romania




Teodora Ana Mihai
Civil War Essay (short, 2000), Waiting for August (2014), Alice (short, 2017), Paket (short, 2019)

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