Review: Narco Cultura


Director:Shaul Schwarz


Running Time:103 Minutes


Welcome to Juárez, Mexico, the most dangerous place in North America, the epicenter of Narco Cultura, a guerilla-style documentary about the ongoing drug war between the U.S. and Mexican borders.  This film shows the growing popularity of narcotic traffickers, the musicians who idealize them in their songs, and the people in between that are affected by the drug war on a daily basis.

Move over Justin Bieber, there is a new icon in town by the name of Kommander, a corridor-style musician who glorifies narcotic traffickers, AK-47s, bazookas, and above all, money and power. Kommander and other musicians like him are the new artists idolized by the youth of Juárez, other cities in Mexico, and even cities north of the border such as Los Angeles, El Paso, and Phoenix. They are idolized because they show the youth a way out of the ghetto slums and into a world of money, power, violence, bloodshed, and evil"”the new get rich quick scheme.

Cops are not respected or even feared, because here in Juárez 97% of the murders that occur are never investigated. The police are simply regulated to a concierge service for the dead. They are puppets, some corrupt, others blind sheep, all under the control of Mexican drug cartels.

Narco Cultura shows how desensitized the people of Juárez are towards murder, an everyday occurrence that is sadly almost becomes like a ritual. Throughout the documentary, director and photographer Shaul Schwarz captures the somber mood of a country struggling to contain the fire that is the war on drugs. Schwarz gives no resolution to the problem at hand; instead he is a fly on the wall watching Mexico slowly burn in corruption, violence, and greed.


About Matt Kerwin

Matt Kerwin

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