The Infiltrators – Hot Docs 2019 Quickie Review

Who knew that creating a hybrid between documentary and acted-out footage would make for such a truly unique and creative film! Directed by Cristina Ibarra and Alex Rivera, The Infiltrators is a documentary that involves a group of people infiltrating detention center’s in order to prevent unnecessary deportations of innocent people. The film certainly has the premise to make for a very compelling documentary and thankfully it deliveries with a tense viewing experience. 

The film ditches the typical format of documentaries and instead makes a product that feels really creative and genuine. It limits actual interviews of people, and uses acted out footage instead, to demonstrate what exactly happened in the detention centers. This allows the audience to be apart of the whole infiltration process and really see what happens from the interior and exterior perspective. The footage that was acted out is also very good, due to how the performances from the largely unknown cast was very convincing. The cinematography to these scenes is also very good, as it’s shot in such a realistic way that grounds the film exactly in reality. Not to mention that the way everything was edited was done in a really masterful way. It doesn’t just seamlessly transition from the acted out footage to the real life footage, it also manages to edit in real life phone conversations into the acted out footage. All of this makes for a very compelling viewing experience. The only real problem with the film is that it goes for a bit too long as the 3rd act at times seems to loose it’s overall progression.

To conclude, The Infiltrators is a very creative documentary to come out and see. It really transcends the medium and does things in really cool ways. Seek this one out whenever it releases!


The Infiltrators screened at this year’s Hot Docs Canadian International Film Festival, as part of the DocX program. The film is currently seeking international distribution.

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