Documentaries are both the easiest and most complicated of all film genres. Everything hinges on the topic and execution for it to work on any level and sadly there are so many it is becoming hard to find ones that stand out anymore. The latest Narco Cultura takes on not just the cartel related murders in Mexico, but the new phenomenon of musicians and their “narcocorridas”, but does it pack the punch needed to keep the viewer intrigued?
This isn’t one of those documentaries that pulls at your heart strings or anything, but does in fact showcase some emotional situations and a terrible circumstance that this country and its people are dealing with. On the flip side there is a seemingly light side regarding the music, that while it’s just these musicians trying to make a career and better their lives is directly connected to this horrible world. Their music can be compared to that of gangster rap with the big difference being a lot if not all is actually financed by the cartel criminals they are singing about. This film is well crafted to take you on a journey that focuses not only on these musicians, but the police and families that are endangered by the violence of the cartel as well. They filmmaker brings these two stories together showing how they are directly impacting people’s lives in completely different ways using some graphic news footage and imagery that is sometimes hard to look at but important to get the impact across.
This is one of those documentaries that is not just bringing more light to a major problem in Mexico, but one that is becoming a problem here as it spills over the border into the US. It’s not just the cartel’s but the music that idolizes them that has become so big that it has become illegal. Be warned that not only is this film primarily subtitled it is extremely graphic at times, but is one that sheds light to more than just the violence but also that the power of music reaches beyond just beauty.