Narco Cultura Provides a Sobering Look at Mexico's Drug Culture

<I>Narco Cultura</I> Provides a Sobering Look at Mexico's Drug Culture

The breadth of director Shaul Schwarz's documentary Narco Cultura is staggering.

A hybrid of hard investigative journalism and incisive cultural criticism, the film at its core is about definitions of success and power, and how today those terms are shaped by the shared forces of poverty and celebrity culture.

Schwarz and his crew dot back and forth across the United States and Mexico to show how Mexico's war on drugs (fueled by both artillery easily scored in the U.S., and our insatiable appetite for drugs) has all but decimated the once thriving city of Juárez, turning it into the murder capital of the world.

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Location Info


AMC Empire 25

234 W. 42nd St.
New York, NY 10036

Category: Movie Theaters

Region: West 40s


Narco Cultura
Directed by Shaul Schwarz
Opens November 22, AMC Empire 25

Graphic crime scene photos and videos illustrate the bloody reality, as everyone from ordinary citizens and beleaguered CSI workers (targets for assassination by cartels) to tatted inmates speak about the toll. It's harrowing stuff. At the same time, the entertainment subculture of narcocorridos (songs about and commissioned by Mexican drug runners, a sort of hybrid of gangsta rap, romanticized reportage, and Old English ballads) have exploded in popularity in both countries, creating superstars who sell out arenas to fans who lustily sing along.

Schwarz's juxtaposition of the human cost of the drug war alongside the glamorization of its henchmen and their brutality is sobering, even depressing, a point driven home by journalist Sandra Rodriguez, who says that the popularity of narcocorridos is "a symptom of how defeated we are as a society."

See also: The Melody of the Mexican Drug War

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Spencer Tiberius Rappaport
Spencer Tiberius Rappaport

I'm not sure anything is "sobering" anymore. I think for the most part everyone is well aware of how really un-fucking-Disney it is outside. There's probably about 1 to 3 million NY'ers getting high at some point within the next 24 hours, maybe even people on your staff. It's everywhere. Nobody wants to admit fault that they are directly responsible for the chaos of Central and part of Latin America. Either everybody acknowledges their drug use and consumption and contacts and we figure out an "American" way to get our fix without causing strife pretty damn soon Or we keep hearing about beheaded bodies dumped on highways as they continue their drug wars of rivals fighting over who gets the american cash. You know whenever ya'll buy blunts underage in the bodegas, they dont ID, cos they know you and the american youth has and is still killing itself. And they took your money. I smoke pot, but i grow it and i dont believe in legalising it either. Prefer it to be a crime, because it shows its consequences (I know the prison system is fucked, im talking in a new spirit) So you wanna do drugs. Fine. I found mine. Find your Drug of choice and do it in a manner that doesnt fuel inter-continental druglords and lead to civil divisions in our or any other nation and you'll have solved the drug problem.


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