Disturbing Mexico: drug war victims and victimizers in Mexican film
Franco Velázquez, Daniela
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In 2006, President Felipe Calderón Hinojosa mobilized the Mexican military into high risk zones which, along with the ongoing battle between drug cartels for territorial control, unleashed a wave of violent crimes toward the civilian population. As a response to the overwhelming amounts of violence that the Mexican people were exposed to, filmmakers started producing movies that revolved around the havoc wreaked by the cartels during the Drug War and represent how it affects Mexicans on a daily basis. This thesis comprises a detailed study of the three most representative film works that depict the narco-violence taking place in Mexico produced during and after Calderón’s government: Amat Escalante’s Heli (2013), Gerardo Naranjo’s Miss Bala (2011), and Luis Estrada’s El Infierno (2010). In each film, the directors expose the bloodshed and political and societal corruption caused by the Drug War This thesis analyzes each director’s attempt to raise awareness of the way the Drug War affects civilians through their narrative and visual styles and their use of graphic violence to disturb viewers and inspire them to reform the country.