Presumed Guilty (Presunto culpable)


Presumed Guilty (Presunto culpable)

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Average Rating: 4.1/5

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Movie Info

Two lawyers struggle to free a man who has been wrongly convicted by a judicial system that doesn't care to admit mistakes in this documentary from filmmakers Roberto Hernández and Geoffrey Smith. Antonio Zuniga was a street performer and peddler in Mexico who was arrested on charges of murder and convicted largely on the testimony of one man. However, the man was a close relative of the victim who had no firm evidence against Zuniga, while the accused could produce several witnesses able to place him far from the scene of the crime at the time of the murder. Despite this, Zuniga was found guilty, and when lawyers Roberto Hernández and Layda Negrete learned about his case, they agreed to help. After it was revealed that the lawyer appointed to represent Zuniga did not have a valid license, authorities grudgingly agreed to a new trial, but with the same judge presiding, who showed little interest in evidence that Zuniga was falsely convicted. Battling an arrogant judge, uncooperative witnesses and a legal system riddled with corruption, Hernández and Negrete find it's easy to prove Zuniga's innocence, but hard to get the powers that be to acknowledge this fact. Presumed Guilty was an official selection at the 2009 Toronto International Film Festival. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi


Critic Reviews for Presumed Guilty (Presunto culpable)

All Critics (3) | Top Critics (1)

  • A bold documentary about the corruption, ineptitude and power of Mexico's justice system where police and judges have a vested interest in rigorous pursuit of law and order.

    Aug 21, 2012 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • While trial documentary Presumed Guilty's narrative arc is genuinely compelling and heartrending in its depiction of an innocent man's struggle to prove his innocence, the film at large only serves to reinforce the hopelessness of his case.

    Feb 25, 2011 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Presumed Guilty (Presunto culpable)


It's a good documentary about the irregularity of the prisons, is a clear example of some irregularities and gives justice to a completely unfair case .

Rodrigo Ramirez Corona
Rodrigo Ramirez Corona

Super Reviewer

Presunto Culpable is a Mexican documentary that, since its release a couple of weeks ago, has been sweeping the nation and creating all sorts of controversy. Its projection on Mexican screens was even suspended for a few days due to a lawsuit by one of the film's unwilling "stars". Stripped-down and nicely edited account of the harrowing plight of Antonio Zúñiga. It only helps that he's such an engaging personality, allowing us to identify even more with him and the terrible situation he's been thrown in. Eye-opening investigation on the country's shady judicial system, where the accused is guilty from the beginning and has to prove his innocence, not the other way around. As moving as it is inflammatory, Presunto Culpable is a thoroughly engrossing documentary that teaches us that the worst villains exist not on paper or on film, but lurk among us. My only objection is the use of staged phone calls, which the film could've definitely done without.

Fernando Rafael Quintero Castañeda
Fernando Rafael Quintero Castañeda

Super Reviewer

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