A young couple runs a motel in Lima. It’s one of those sleazy by-the-hour joints that attracts the morally compromised. They make a meager income and are expecting their first child to boot. By way of making extra cash the husband puts small cameras behind the mirrors hanging inside the motel rooms, and then sells the content on the black market. It’s a great idea. That is, until one of the cameras captures a murder.

Detrás del espejo is a gritty crime drama but in a land where every single law enforcement official is up for sale. Marcelo Rivera does an excellent job playing Ernesto, a soon-to-be father who is willing to do whatever it takes to provide for his family. However Rosario, his wife (played by Mayella Lloclla) would rather walk a straight and narrow path even if it means being financially strapped. The short gives us a glimmer into a sordid world where no one is ever truly safe, and where common citizens who dare to take advantage of a broken system can face disastrous consequences.

The filmmaker is Julio O. Ramos, who produced Detrás del espejo as his thesis film for the UCLA MFA program. A native of Lima, Ramos’ shorts have been shot exclusively in Peru and have enjoyed international recognition. Be sure to check out his previous short film ¡Una Carrerita, Doctor! Ramos currently works as an instructor at UCLA Extension and New York Film Academy. He’s also developing his first narrative feature. It’s not all surprising since Detrás del espejo is certainly lush with ingredients with which to concoct an engrossing full-length film.