Grupo 7

Spain

Synopsis

As Seville prepares for the 1992 International Expo, the four plain-clothes cops of the elite “Unit 7” find themselves charged with an enormous task: to cleanse the barrio streets of drug trafficking and prostitution. For squad leader Angel, an ambitious young officer, his hopes for promotion to detective hinge upon achieving results. His partners include fast-talking Mateo, self-composed Miguel, and Rafael, the team’s arrogant yet brutally efficient enforcer. However, despite initial success, complications ensue during a routine raid when Angel, wanting a piece of the action, discreetly slips a packet of cocaine under his belt. Soon, Unit 7’s increasingly amoral tactics involve coercion, excessive force, and evidence tampering. As the unit draws accolades from the media, Angel’s temper grows more explosive. Meanwhile, Rafael unwisely falls for the beautiful but damaged Lucia, eventually leading the two comrades down conflicting paths.

Director's Statement

Prior to the 1992 World Exhibition, Seville was a city with a certain air of abandonment. Defoliated areas, wetlands and poverty were common. Yet, the city was to make an enormous effort − to impress the world. One of the many tasks was to rid downtown of drugs and prostitution so tourists could feel safe and comfortable. Police pressure increased staggeringly. Slowly, crime started to move out into the outskirts. After years of economic boom, years of splurging and waste, a developing country was entering the First World and presenting its credentials internationally. Whenever an important event takes place, it is necessary to clean up, host cities must shine: a force majeure which must now be taking place in London or Rio. We all look the other way while the miracle of the loaves and fish takes place and those who disrupted the aesthetics of the city disappear. No one wonders where they went or how it was done. And this gave way to the film’s premise: everyone looks the other way when it’s “necessary”. UNIT 7 is a film that could be interpreted as the rise and fall of a band of gangsters, the only difference being that our gangsters are on the “lawful” side of the line. They carry a badge. My intention was to make the audience step out of their “comfort zone”, approaching the story from the heart of the problem, from the point of view of four characters where it is not clear whether what they are doing is right or wrong.
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Cast & Crew

Directed by: Alberto Rodríguez

Written by: Alberto Rodríguez, Rafael Cobos

Produced by: José Antonio Félez, Gervasio Iglesias

Cinematography: Alex Catalán

Editing: José M. G. Moyano

Production Design: Manuela Ocón

Original Score: Josh Rouse

Cast: Antonio De La Torre (Rafael), Mario Casas (Angel), Joaquin Nuñez (Mateo), José Manuel Poga (Miguel), Estefanía de los Santos (La Caoba)

Nominations and Awards

  • Feature Film Selection 2012