Cartel Land


Documentary Films

SIFF Says:

In this ground zero documentary, filmmaker Matthew Heineman examines two vigilante groups involved in the Mexican drug cartel. Dr. Jose Mireles is the head organizer of a citizens’ paramilitary group against the violent cartels that have basically run their town of Michoacan with terror for years. The film’s second central focus is on Tim “Nailer” Foley, an American vet who heads another vigilante group called the Arizona Border Recon, who does their best to keep drug activity away from the US border. Neither group encompasses perfection however, with Mireles’ organization struggling not to succumb to the problematic forces they are fighting, and Foley leading what is being recognized as an extremist group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. Featuring jaw-dropping footage of the violence and gritty reality of the drug war, these two chilling portraits of involvement pose difficult questions on moral ambiguity, the unsettling similarities between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ sides, and realization that there may not be a solution.

Stranger Says:

Real violence, not special-effects violence, on the Arizona border and in the state of Michoacán. If you have the slightest doubt that the worldwide war on drugs, led by the US, should end now, force yourself to watch this documentary. The consequences of our drug policies are complicated, brutal, and pervasive. (BARLEY BLAIR)

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Film Credits
Matthew Heineman
SIFF 2015