Sunday night we went to see the movie Infierno (“Hell”) by Luis Estrada. Que fuerte. That’s some powerful, scary stuff. I had read a bit about the movie in an article about the bicentennial (see blog reference or the original article) and knew it would be intense – but still wasn’t quite prepared.
It shows life in a small town in the north of Mexico where the only “opportunities” come from drug cartels. These cartels support the schools and are involved with the church, the local law enforcement, up to the federal level – yet the town is at war with itself from feuding cartels. It juxtaposes the lives of “luxury” of the cartel members and the celebration of the Bicentennial with the gruesome, tragic reality of the town. As on of the characters said, he didn’t fear hell because he was living in it.
It’s a movie that makes me want to close my eyes (admittedly I did during various gruesome parts) and pretend like it doesn’t exist and that it’s purely fiction for the big screen, yet this is a reality. I can’t even imagine actually living in that dynamic, in that hell.
Mark Stevenson makes a good point in his article though:
"Like many Mexicans, Estrada says there is little to celebrate in Mexico today, with its violence, corruption and inequity. Yet in another way, the harshly critical movie shows how far the country has come — it was made with government funding, and nobody tried to censor it."
[On a lighter note, on our way back from the movie all nine of us crammed into one taxi – ten people including the driver. Impressive, though slightly painful. Luckily my apartment was the first stop. Sardine taxi, anyone??]
|photo taken after 2 of us got out|