Directed by Natalia Beristain, “Noise” is about a mother’s desperate search to find her missing daughter. It has been nine months, and the authorities are yet to find Ger. Julia knew that the longer she waited to find Ger, the less likely she was to find her alive. She wanted the authority to care, but all she encountered was their reluctance to take any action. The prosecutor had been replaced three times in the previous nine months. With every new prosecutor, Julia had to fill in the details of her missing daughter over and over again. She wanted closure, but she could barely find anyone to answer her questions. In her journey to find her daughter, Julia met other women who were going through the same experience. In them, she found comfort, hope, and strength. She mustered the courage to speak up for her daughter and the thousands of other daughters who had yet to return home.
‘Noise’ Plot Summary: What Is The Film About?
Julia and Arturo were called by the prosecutor to identify a body the police had found. After reaching the prosecutor’s office, they learned that there was an error in Ger’s file that led them to believe that the body could be hers. The couple was surprised to find that after nine months, they were told that there was a mistake in their daughter’s file, indicative of the severe negligence of the authorities. Julia had entered the office believing that she would finally get the closure that she had been hoping for, but all she found was disappointment. The last time Ger contacted her was when she went on a trip with her friends to celebrate their graduation. She was a psychologist who hoped to work with special children. Ger was full of life, and she looked happy in the last video she sent. Julia held onto that video dearly; it was all that she had. She got the same tattoo that Ger had on her lower arms. She wanted to feel closer to her daughter, and getting the tattoo was her way to do so. After months, she felt something while getting the tattoo done, even though it was physical pain.
Julia had joined a group where mothers of missing individuals came together to discuss their suffering. Their loss had consumed their world, making it difficult for them to continue with their everyday lives. During the group meeting, Julia was introduced to Abril Escobedo, a journalist working on the case of missing individuals in Mexico. Abril had a little daughter and working on the case was her way of ensuring that her daughter did not face a similar fate. Julia went along with Abril to meet Cassandra, a lawyer who worked independently and had successfully investigated several missing cases. It was during her meeting with Cassandra that Julia disclosed how the government had tried to tarnish the image of her daughter with a video from a pub that showed that Ger and her friends were snorting cocaine in the bathroom. Ger was carrying the bag, making it easier for them to target her. Julia found it surprising that the explanation for her daughter’s going missing was that she dared to party with her friends. Cassandra suggested Julia search for her daughter instead of waiting for the police to find her. She explained that the police usually only searched the mass graves, but considering the place where Ger went missing, she could have been trafficked for sex work as well. There were safe houses where she could stay, and Cassandra offered to help Julia contact them.
Julia met Liz, a young activist who extended her support to the mothers and helped mobilize others to fight injustice. Julia realized that she was not alone; mothers and young women were fighting against the authorities to find answers. She, with the help of Cassandra and Abril, was ready to go to any extent to search for her daughter. She was done waiting for the police to find Ger. Even if the path seemed dangerous, she wanted to actively search for Ger and find some peace.
Why Was Abril Forcefully Taken Away?
Julia and Abril learned from the municipal police that the mortuary had been non-functional for the last seven months, and all they had were reports dating back three years. She added that they had found a container containing dead young girls, and maybe Julia could take a look to find Ger. Without giving it much thought, Julia agreed to go to the highway. The container was filled with the bodies of young women, and even though she did not find her daughter there, it was disturbing for her to think that so many women were murdered. The municipal officer, in exchange for money, agreed to allow them to visit one of the safe houses where trafficked women were kept, but as soon as they entered, police swarmed the place, and a resident asked them to visit the pastor’s shelter house to find Ger.
While there was no sight of Ger at the house, Julia came across a diary with descriptions of missing individuals, indicative of how countless people came to the place in search of their beloved. Julia later joined a group of women who together went in search of missing individuals. They went on searches for two weeks every month based on the little evidence or traces that they found. The searches were conducted independently without any assistance from the government. The sudden increase in missing individuals was a result of the influence of cartels. The majority of the bodies discovered were dismembered and burned inside a barrel, making identification impossible. The women had formed a community; they danced and celebrated when they were successful, and they were each other’s shoulder to cry on when their miseries became impossible to deal with.
The bus Julia and Abril were traveling in suddenly came to a halt. As Julia looked out the window, she noticed the same black car that was following her before she got on the bus. Men wearing cargo pants and bullet-proof vests demanded identity proof from the passengers, including Abril. After noticing Abril’s ID, they got hold of her and dragged her out of the bus. We can assume the car belongs to the police considering that Abril’s new article about the container filled with dead bodies has been published on several news forums. Her report was indicative of the incompetence of the Mexican government to tackle criminals; therefore, we can assume the men were sent by the authority to punish Abril for daring to speak against the injustice. Even though Julia wanted to scream and stop the men from taking Abril, she knew that her cry would be left unheard.
‘Noise’ Ending Explained: Did Julia Find Ger? Did Julia Die In The End?
Prosecutor Rodriguez warned Julia to be careful about the people she was engaging with since she, too, was on the list of people who could get into trouble. Julia was surprised to discover that, rather than assisting the common people, the authority was busy scaring and disappearing those who were genuinely attempting to assist. While Rodriguez knew that Julia had reasons to be disappointed, he wanted her to meet a man the police had arrested who worked for a cartel. Since he worked around the place where Ger went missing, they believed he might know about her. After showing him pictures of Ger, he told Julia that the cocaine she was snorting with her friends was not supplied by their cartel, which was why they targeted her. He added that she was beautiful, giving them all the more reason to make her disappear. He advised Julia not to search for Ger anymore because, no matter how hard she tried, she would not be able to find her.
Julia was completely shaken when she left the building. She could not comprehend what she was told. She noticed hundreds of women had gathered to protest against the authority’s inability to stop the cartels from randomly killing people. They raised their voice for the families of missing individuals who were searching for their loved ones relentlessly. They expressed their anger at the government’s failure to protect the women of Mexico. In the protest, Julia found an outlet to express her disappointment, anger, and misery. She did not care about how dangerous it was to participate in the mass protest; she could no longer scream in silence; she wanted to be heard. The police soon started to attack the crowd, and Julia entered a building where the protestors had gathered. The police forcefully set foot into the building and attacked the protestors, and amidst the chaos, Julia was injured. As she dropped to the floor, she noticed a hand reaching out for her. She followed the masked woman and arrived in the same open field where Julia often imagined herself to be. It was her safe place, where she could cry and shout her lungs out without thinking about the consequences. As the woman removed her mask, she realized it was her daughter, Ger. Just as Julia was injured, she sought comfort by imagining her daughter being there by her side. While it is unclear whether Julia was dead or severely injured, the reunion of the mother and daughter takes place in a safe mental space for Julia, a place where she could protect her daughter from all harm. She finally found closure and peace in her imagination.
“Noise” is about the uproar of the common people against the cartels and the government. The film states that the official number of missing people in Mexico is currently over 90,000. News about Mexico’s growing number of missing people shows how local groups have formed to conduct searches to find their loved ones. They sought closure in the form of decomposing, dismembered bodies. As the “war on drugs” was declared by the government, armed forces were sent to combat cartels, who responded by unleashing severe violence upon the common people.
“Noise” is a 2023 Drama Thriller film directed by Natalia Beristain.