Includes a conversation with director Matthew Heineman
Director Matthew Heineman uses a novel approach to documentary film in his 2015 look at the meth wars between Mexican cartels and the civilian groups—on both sides of the Arizona and Mexican border—who take them on. He stages the film with a construction similar to that of a fiction film, creating a nervy and engrossing dramatic texture that shows the drive (and the influence) of narrative filmmaking. Heineman draws fascinating parallels between the vigilante bands (both Mexican and Americans) who chose to go after these merciless criminals enterprises. In doing so, the lines between right and wrong get increasingly—and compellingly—muddy; both sides are fighting for their lives. In stark contrast to his previous film, Escape Fire, an examination of the stranglehold of bureaucracy in health care, all the work here takes place outside of institutions. For his efforts, Cartel Land won the Best Director Prize as well as a Special Jury Award for Cinematography at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. Director/editor/producer Heineman takes part in a Q&A following the screening.
2014, 100 min, color, DCP, in English and Spanish with English subtitles | Directed by Matthew Heineman