Had this simply been a documentary about the violence and hell on earth conditions that have become the norm in the city of Juarez, Mexico it would’ve been eye opening. If the film only examined the drug trafficking violence in this city which sits flush on the border of El Paso, Texas it would have garnered attention. What Israeli documentary filmmaker Shaul Schwarz does instead is split the story in two and the results are more insightful if not disgusting and terrifying than would be otherwise. Schwarz sharply juxtaposes the story of a Mexican Crimes Investigator who lives in the heart of the blood stained streets of Juarez with the life of a singer songwriter who exploits the situation from the relatively safe streets of Los Angeles. This gringo (me) had never heard of the Ranchero sub-genre commonly referred to as Narcocorrido. It’s Mexican gangster rap with a mellow polka tempo, fueled by accordions. It would be the equivalent of NWA rapping about the Los Angeles drug violence in the form of Country and Western tunes. The documentary acts as a microcosm study of the phenomenon of glorified violence and exploitation through means of art in all modern culture.
4 0f 5
Must Watch = 5 0f 5 (See it in the theater if possible/buy it or pay for rental)
Should Watch = 4 of 5 (Worth a theater visit or sending away for)
Could Watch = 3 of 5 (If it’s on a pay channel or streaming for free)
Should Not Watch = 2 of 5 (Only if friends or family insist)
Do Not Watch = 1 of 5 (Don’t allow friends or family to make this mistake)