Presumed Guilty




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"Why do I accuse?" asks the prosecutor with surprise and responds with a smile, “That’s my job.” Twenty years for murder is at stake but the judge is not interested that there is no evidence and witness testimony is unreliable. Police pulled Jose “Tonio” Zuniga off the street and accused him of a murder committed in another part of Mexico City.  Though several people saw him elsewhere at the time of the crime, he had no chance to present a defense at his trial. Not surprisingly, 95% of cases before this court and in conviction. Robert Hernandez and Layda Negrete, Mexican lawyers living in the US, who for years have been fighting the corrupt Mexican court system, took up defense with the help of Australian filmmaker Geoffrey Smith (“English Surgeon”). The resulting film, shot mainly during proceedings, is a powerful expo, is a powerful exposé  of the court’s incompetence and bias, police falsification of evidence and the Kafkaesque procedures with a systemic presumption of guilt. The film becomes the most effective weapon in the fight for Tonio’s freedom. “Presumed Guilty” is a true courtroom edge-of-your-seat suspense thriller that proves the power of cinema.
Presumed Guilty / Winny z założenia  
90 ' , 2009 Mexico / cinematography: John Grillo, Amir Galván, Luis Damián Sánchez, Lorenzo Hagerman / editing: Felipe Gómez, Roberto Hernández / production: Lawyers with Camera