Documentary ‘After the Murder of Albert Lima’ Follows a Man Pursuing His Father’s Killer

"After the Murder of Albert Lima" has a near-impossible premise, and that’s what makes it incredible.

‘After the Murder of Albert Lima’ is a documentary following the story of a man trying to avenge the death of his father. (Via Doc NYC)

Truth is stranger than fiction. “After the Murder of Albert Lima” is a documentary about a man named Paul Lima who spends the film seeking justice for his father Albert, who was killed by gang members in Honduras. The film is a gritty, candid look at something that, to most of us, only exists in dramas.

Paul is accompanied to Honduras by two U.S. bounty hunters, as well as a relatively inconspicuous film crew. His father’s killer has been convicted by the Supreme Court of Honduras to serve 16 years in prison, but the authorities are unable to capture him. Paul and the bounty hunters, with the help of some locals and a pair of U.S. ex-patriots, set out to capture the killer.

This film is not visually or artistically stunning. It is straightforwardly shot and edited and does not shy away from cutting to an interview. The interviewees acknowledge and interact with the camera regularly, and much of the footage is taken covertly and is shaky, off-center or of poor quality.

However, these attributes do not detract from the film — it couldn’t be authentic any other way. Frankly, it is a wonder that such a film could even be made successfully in the first place. These events are real, the people are real and the danger they are placing themselves in is too; the film’s premise is what makes it incredible.

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While perhaps not the most visually stunning work of film, “Albert Lima” captures the spirit of a documentary. The point of this film is to document a series of events and the profile of a man’s past, his struggles and his hopes, and it does so very effectively.

While at times it feels closer to a TV documentary than a work of art, “Albert Lima” is a genuinely interesting film. It feels real and alive, as if the viewer is in the car or on the street with the subjects working on the case and tracking the murderer. There is an almost fiction-like drama to how events play out. 

Essentially, if the premise sounds interesting, “After the Murder of Albert Lima” is an easy recommendation; if not, the film probably won’t change your mind.

Gunpowder and Sky will release “After the Murder of Albert Lima” in 2020.

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