El Sicario, Room 164
Mexico • 1h 20m
Directed by Gianfranco Rosi and Charles Bowden • Documentary • 2011 • 84 minutes
The term sicario goes back to Roman Palestine, where a Jewish sect, the Sicarii, used concealed daggers (sicae) in their murders of Romans and their supporters. In modern language, a sicario is a professional killer or a hit man.
In an anonymous motel room on the U.S./Mexico border, a Ciudad Juarez hitman speaks. He has killed hundreds of people and is an expert in torture and kidnapping. He was simultaneously on the payroll of the Mexican drug cartels and a commander of the Chihuahua State Police. There is currently a $250,000 contract on his life and he lives as a fugitive, though he has never been charged with a crime in any country. With his face obscured by a black mesh hood, he tells his story to the camera inside the very motel room he once used to hold and torture kidnapped victims. Aided only by a magic marker and notepad, which he uses to illustrate and diagram his words, the sicario describes, in astounding detail, his life of crime, murder, abduction and torture.
Up Next in Mexico
Directed by Natalia Almada • Documentary • 2011 • 72 minutes
Martin, the night watchman, arrives with the setting sun in his rumbling blue Chevrolet. The cemetery mascots, EI Negro y La Negra, chase his truck down the road and greet him with wagging tails. The sound of construction fades away as...
Flower in Otomi
Directed by Luisa Riley • Documentary • 2012 • 78 minutes
On February 14th, 1974, 19-year-old Deni Prieto Stock was killed by the Mexican army in the town of Nepantla, along with four of her comrades in the Fuerzas de Liberacion Nacional (National Liberation Forces), a forerunner to the Zapatist...
Frida Kahlo & Tina Modotti
Directed by Laura Mulvey • Documentary • With Miriam Margolyes • 1983 • 29 minutes
This tautly structured documentary sheds light on the work of Mexican painter Frida Kahlo and Italian photographer Tina Modotti, women icons of the Mexican Renaissance. The film not only explores the two women's a...