MEXICO CITY — Cinepolis Distribution returned Mexican docu “Presumed Guilty” to theaters on Wednesday after a federal panel of judges lifted a lower court’s ban.
Events moved quickly after Cinepolis Distribution pulled 200 copies in 21 cities under direct orders from Mexico’s Radio, Television and Film Directorate (RTC) of the Interior Secretariat on Monday.
The three-judge tribunal unanimously voted against the decision to pull the film saying that, despite the potential negative attention to the plaintiff, to force the film out of theaters “caused damage to the interests of society and contravened the regulations of public order, given that society has an interest in seeing respected the right to information enshrined in the sixth article of the Federal Constitution.”
The initial order to suspend the film came after a key figure in the pic said he did not give permission to be filmed. It was issued by a federal judge March 2, but faced a number of legal challenges, delaying the suspension until Monday.
The docu centers around a broken judicial system that wrongfully accused 26-year-old vidgame repairman Antonio Zuniga of a killing that took place over a mile from where dozens of witnesses were watching him work. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison.
Opening Feb. 18, the doc has pulled in 43.3 million pesos ($3.6 million), selling more than 900,000 tickets. The figure puts it far past “Fahrenheit 9/11,” which held the previous Mexican B.O. record for a documentary at $2.2 million.
What had already become a fast-spreading word-of-mouth campaign exploded with the news that the film might be pulled.
The pic more than doubled its 13-day take in the days following last week’s announcement that Federal Judge Blanca Lobo had ordered a temporary suspension — pulling in $1.9 million in the five days before its suspension.