Get armed or get raped, is that the question? (by mtjoeng)
Cartel Land 2015 conquered Sundance for best documentary and director. Contrasting the peoples 'Autodefensas' militia in their Mexico Michoacán region, battle the Knights Templar drug cartel versus the upset white Arizona Border Recon 'vigilantes' patrolling the Arizona border.Ignore the handful of reviews by viewers of this documentary or the dozens by professional film critiquers. This documentary is of unbiased quality, it shows the naked - and rather bipolar - actuality.The present topicality is what seems to be a struggle between a distrusted, corrupt and bought <more>
Mexican government trying to reign in the power of the Mexican self-defense militias and arresting their leaders for possessing unregistered weaponries.'When we captured criminals we turned them over to the federal authorities. But the authorities set them free with their guns and armor. And they started shooting and massacring us 24 hours later.' But then, needing funding for their upkeep, the now regulated 'Autodefensas' with a new leader started protecting their own meth cookers 'we can't help it because inevitably everyone here has gone corrupted'.So a new cycle of drugs manufacture and protection has started in the Michoacán region, minus the rape, kidnappings and murder. A handful of volunteers joined the Arizona Border Recon.
Excellent Documentary! This documentary (by nlytnd_1)
There are many reviews on here that are ridiculous and simply based in idiocrasy! There are actually people docking the documentary because it films a U.S. vigilante/border patrol guy from an observational perspective, who these reviewers disagree with, therefore they dock this documentary for it, whereas otherwise they claim to have enjoyed it. It just so happens that I disagree with the guy as well or at the very least recognize what the dude is doing accomplishes nothing . This documentary does nothing to persuade the viewer to the vigilante border guy's view, rather it observes the <more>
guy telling his story. Then you get to see for yourself what this guy is doing based on his actual actions no bias propaganda . Actually, every action that we watch the guy carry out is of him stopping some poor scared people trying to get over the border. At no point does it attempt to convince us that these scared people are cartel members or that he should be stopping these people. If anything one is more likely to disagree with the guy after seeing what he is doing for yourself. These people who are disgruntled over the observation of someone they disagree with genuinely have a serious mental disorder. Whether you agree or disagree with the guy, it's interesting to hear what his perspective is and watch exactly what he is doing. Rather than taking his or someone else's word for it. The guy convinces himself that he is doing something against the cartels even though there is nothing we see to support the guys claim... so why can't these nutball reviewers differentiate? It's simple, they have a mental disorder. Anyways, that wasn't the theme of the documentary, it's vigilantism. Two different kinds of vigilantism, but they both correlate in that they are people taking it upon themselves to act in areas where the government refuses too. However the story over the Mexican border is where this documentary excels. You should understand after seeing this, Government/Cartels are in bed together if not one of the same thing. This applies to everywhere in the world. A different word for it is used everywhere, in Mexico they're called cartels. So yes, I think this documentary captured a bunch of amazing stuff and tried to come up with a way to work both stories into the documentary. As a result, should I rate this doc a 6 or a 7 because both stories felt loosely tied to me, even though it captures what was and is going on in Mexico and everywhere in the world I believe unlike anything ever has before and both stories are very entertaining. In my opinion, this is the best reference that I have ever seen demonstrated before as to a pattern that continues to go on, over and over and over again throughout history. In Mexico you have the Cartels, In Russia you have the KGB, in the US we've had a bunch of ravenous groups over the years in which the government pretends to be against, but at the end of the day they do absolutely nothing to stop them and come to find out they are in bed together. So, surprise people the government gov. is just a generic expression, but you could say the state, the CIA or the powers that be which control gov. , are the real manufacturers of these drugs there are several instances over the years where this has been declassified information particularly the CIA . Even though we see in this documentary, the newly united government are the ones out making the drugs so whether the state/gov are the actual manufacturers, they are always at the very least the ghost manufacturers and get paid/kickbacks the same either way and these horrendous gangs/cartels are the ones selling their product. This documentary demonstrates the Mexican government/military does nothing to stop the cartels and in fact come to the cartels aid. Then they show what happens to the liberation groups that wake up and fight back, they eventually get infiltrated/ convinced/paid off by the government to step aside and/or join forces and then you're right back to square one. Like that Papa Smurf clown. I'm curious if the guy was an infiltrator from the start or if he was bought off. One thing for certain is; he allowed some audience members running some cointelpro tactics to overpower him in a speech. In that instance, I believe they essentially had a handful or more of rehearsed and planned criticisms to bounces off one another in tandem, which can easily and effectively bring an entire audience who would otherwise be in support of the speakers cause, against the speaker and the cause. This stuff is taught in CIA/FBI training and I'm sure in many other gov organizations around the world. Another way is just through media control and what not, they convince the people through propaganda or whatever the "horrible" things that the people/liberation group are doing. In this instance, I feel certain that the crowd criticism was a planned cointelpro tactic 100% without any shadow of a doubt. Anyways, this information has been known by some people for years, but this is probably the first time that I've ever seen someone in the thick of it actually capturing it on film as it was happening they actually captured the entire process from start to finish It's amazing! This documentary the Mexico part is an essential demonstration of something that people really need to be aware of.
This is the most real and most different perspective I have seen in this doco subject. It is an eye opening, jaw dropping, heart aching ride that will more than likely leave you feeling like you have lost all hope in humanity but in my opinion if a film can draw out emotion and make you think too it has done a good job. The doco gives different points of view but mainly it is divided into two alternating perspectives. One perspective is from the Mexican side and one from the U.S.A side which, without giving too much away, kept me very interested all the way through.If your after a feel good <more>
ending with butterflies and fairy floss then you might want to reconsider watching this doco. This is a must watch for any person who has some type of fascination or interest in this topic.
"Cartel Land" does things that few documentary filmmakers would even think of doing. (by CleveMan66)
Deep in the desert, where no legitimate government rules, a terrorist organization operates freely. Established governments fear them. They're well-financed, violent and ruthless. They control large swaths of land, including some cities and towns, causing local residents to live in fear. The members of this organization think nothing of murdering their enemies or killing just to make a point. They murder men, women and children, and even celebrate those deaths. They often decapitate their victims and sometimes use the internet to publicize videos and photos of their brutality. They even <more>
evoke the name of their god to justify their actions.I'm not talking about the Middle East or ISIS. I'm talking about Mexican drug cartels.The documentary "Cartel Land" R, 1:38 shows everything I just described and more, but focuses mainly on vigilante groups who fight the cartels – on both sides of the U.S.-Mexican border. The film's title refers to areas of Mexico – and areas of the United States as well. U.S. Marine veteran Tim "Nailer" Foley leads a small paramilitary group called Arizona Border Recon whose volunteer members carry semi-automatic rifles and patrol Arizona's Altar Valley "Cocaine Alley" for any sign of drug traffickers operating on the U.S. side of the border. Meanwhile, Jose Mireles leads the Autodefensas, whose members carry similar weapons in their quest to root out members of the ruthless drug cartel which operates in the area around the western Mexican state of Michoacán. Both of these vigilante groups operate outside of their government's good graces but both governments refrain from direct action against the groups, even seeming to work with them on some level.The film alternates between following both groups as they struggle to turn back the advancing tide of cartels operating in their areas and also deal with manpower and leadership issues and with the friction between them and their respective governments. The story of these two vigilante groups is bookended by scenes shot during methamphetamine production by cartel affiliates at a remote outdoor location in Mexico. With their faces covered, this small group of men goes about their business unfettered and they even talk to the camera. At one point, their leader admits that what they're doing is wrong, but doesn't seem to care. He says that they'll continue cooking meth "as long as God allows it". Similarly, the leaders of both Arizona Border Recon and the Autodefensas justify their actions, even as some of their methods resemble those of the cartels."Cartel Land" does things that I've never seen before in any documentary and does others better than I've ever seen them done. I've rarely praised either of these in other documentaries, but the cinematography and the score are both magnificent. Even more impressive than how it was shot is where it was shot. Besides gaining practically unprecedented access to that secret meth lab, director Matthew Heineman embeds with these vigilante groups, following them on their missions and getting up close and personal with some of the action in some obviously dangerous situations. The film won the directing and cinematography awards in its category at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival. The editing is also extremely impressive. The film contains more surprising reveals and vital story developments than in many traditional movie thrillers. Besides Heineman's obvious talents and guts , it probably didn't hurt that one of the doc's executive producers is Kathryn Bigelow, Oscar-winning director of "The Hurt Locker" and "Zero Dark Thirty". Bigelow and Heineman's film is quite simply one of the best documentaries I have ever seen and only the second one that I have ever given this grade: "A".
Riveting, and revolting, looks at the Mexican cartels (by paul-allaer)
"Carte Land" 2015 release; 100 min. is a documentary that examines what is happening in the Mexican state of Michoacán, in south-west Mexico about 1,000 miles from the US border , and in a separate story, we also take a look at what some people are doing at the Arizona border with Mexico. As the documentary opens, we see Mexican guys cooling up meth somewhere in Michoacán. Comments one: "We know we do harm, but we come from poverty". Then we get to know a woman, who lost 13 ! family members, all brutally murdered by the cartel when their employer owner of a lime <more>
orchard couldn't pay the cartel, so they shot his employees as revenge. Then we get to know Dr. Mireles, a Michoacán-based physician who is sick and tired of the violence, and realizing that the official authorities will not/cannot do anything, he decides to start the Autodefensas, a grass roots movement to claim back the streets and towns of Michoacán.Couple of comments: first, this is another documentary from producer-director Matthew Heineman, and with this latest, he hits the bull's eye. The situation in the Mexican state of Michoacán is so bad that people are outright desperate for relief, ANY relief. There is an astonishing scene that plays out in the city of Apo, where the Autodefensas capture several cartel members. Then the Mexican Army comes sweeping in, and tries to disarm the Autodefensas yes! not the cartel . The town's population quickly gathers and essentially howls the Army back out of town. Jaw-dropping. There are other such scenes in this riveting, and revolting, documentary. With revolting, I refer of course to the deplorable situation the Mexican people find themselves in, left to their own devices with the state or federal authorities pretty much absent. Beware, on several occasions there is shocking forage or pictures, and this documentary is most certainly not for the faint of heart. Second, the 'parallel' story of the Arizona Border Recon, with veterans taking it on themselves to patrol the border to keep migrants out, falls utterly short and frankly looks a bit silly as compared to the stuff we see happening in Michoacán. It would've made the documentary even better by simply focusing on what is happening on the ground in Mexico. But even with that unnecessary side story, "Cartel Land" is an unforgettable documentary."Cartel Land" made quite a splash at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year, and when out of the blue this showed up at my local art-house theater here in Cincinnati this weekend, I couldn't believe my luck and went to see it right away. The matinée screening where I saw this at was a private affair, as in: I literally was the only person in the theater. That is a darn shame, as "Cartel Land" makes for compelling, if at times uncomfortable, viewing. If you get an opportunity to check this out and draw your own conclusions, be it at the theater, on Amazon Instant Video, or eventually on DVD/Blu-ray, do not miss it! "Cartel Land" is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
Are vigilantes reluctant heroes taking up arms to defend their communities? Or men of violence looking for a cause in which to fight? Can a band of local activists protect the people against a corrupt government? Or is an self-appointed institution always doomed, by its very nature, to be guilty of the same crimes it is founded to eliminate? Where does the greatest threat to a popular movement come from - the personal failings of a charismatic leader who can satisfy, but only for a moment, the people's desire for a saviour, or in the slime-ball sellouts who would replace him? These <more>
questions are deftly posed by 'Cartel Land', a documentary about the drug trade that focuses on the odd right-wing Minutemen of southern Arizona, who seem to feel it necessary to patrol the Mexican border for reasons unapparent, and the Atodefensas of central Mexico, a self-defence force fighting the drug cartels out of a self-evident desire for mere survival but which might possibly be just a new cartel in the making. The only certain conclusion from Matthew Heiman's bleak, compelling film is that the war on drugs is a war that can only be lost.
This documentary is about Mexico and cartels, but it is also about vigilantism in general. Is it OK to take the law into your own hands? Does this freedom corrupt? The documentary explores two related instances of vigilantism, and it does so in a critical, but nuanced way. It reflects upon the motives of the people involved, and their situation. This exploration is what really makes this documentary great. It throws some light on the situation in Mexico in a way that is both thrilling and heartbreaking - but by focusing on the acts of the vigilantes, the documentary becomes timeless.The <more>
people behind this went to great lengths to get some really ! impressive footage. How they convinced people involved to let them film all of this is beyond me.A warning though: There were some scenes here where I had to look away because of the images shown.
Review: What a brilliant documentary! It really did seem like it was a feature film because it's full of action and intense drama. The director, Matthew Heineman, was lucky to gain the trust of Dr. José Mireles and Tim "Nailer" Foley, to go behind the scenes and film the gruesome problems in the Mexican state of Michoacan and the Arizona border, which is used by the drug cartels to bring drugs into America. Both stories involve heavy corruption, kidnap, horrifying murder, rape and black mail. Matthew put together enough material to tell the terrifying story about the drug <more>
cartels who will kill anybody who step in there way. Tim is an ex veteran who suffered abuse from his father and left home at the early age of 15. After working in various jobs and losing his house due to the credit crunch, he started to work alongside immigrants, who worked illegally and didn't pay any taxes. He then decided to use his savings to put together an elite force called the Arizona Border Recon in Arizona's Altar Valley, to stop the drug cartels from bringing there drugs into America and to stop the war causing any problems across the border. His small force use heavy artillery and patrol during day and night to protect his home and infiltrate the cartels various methods of trafficking drugs. As there isn't any laws to protect them, they basically take matters into there own hands and risk there life's for there country and to make sure that things don't get out of hand. While Tim is battling against the cartels, who are using the newest technology to communicate, Dr. José Mireles is also battling against the cartels but his war is to protect Michoacan and to gain control of the various towns which have many violent gang members, called the Knight Templars, who are causing havoc in there communities. After giving speeches in the various towns, he manages to put together a force called the Autodefensas, who use heavy artillery and group together in numbers to get the perpetrators out of the many villages. He successfully cleans up many of the small towns and he becomes highly respected around Michoacan. He then ends up in a plane crash, which paralysed a side of his face and seriously damages his back, so he takes time out from the Autodefensas and goes into hiding because he doesn't know if the crash was a hit from the cartels. On the anniversary of the Autodefensas, José comes out of hiding and takes back control of his elite force but everything has got out of control and a lot of the Autodefensas are using there powers to do bad things. As they haven't got the right to have guns and apply force around Michoacan, the government step in and build there own force, which pushes José out of control. All of his fellow workers join the government force because they are allowed to use guns by law and Jose's life becomes in danger because he has broken so many laws when he was in control. When they eventually catch up with José, they put him in a Federal Centre for Social Re-adaptation in Hermosillo, Sonora. Although he still gains support from the villagers, he has basically become a political prisoner who is kept behind bars to silence him and take full control of his elite force. It has all the makings for a brilliant film but as this is a documentary about true events, I found it thrilling and quite emotional, especially when you hear what some of the community went through. The story that was told by the lady who watched her husband being burnt to death, was awful and it really shows how far these cartels are willing to go, to bring fear into people's life's. There also are some intense shoot-outs which must have been extremely scary for the director, who was in the heart of the action. Anyway, this movie definitely gave a graphic insight into a world which I totally didn't know existed and right from the beginning, when the members of the cartels are cooking the "Meth", I was glued to the TV until the end. Great!Round-Up: This brilliant documentary was put together by Matthew Heineman who brought you Overcoming The Storm, which is about several residents returning to there homes in New Orleans after hurricane Katrina, Our Time, which is about 4 youths who travel across America to ask there peers serious questions about life in America today and Escape Fire: The Fight Of Rescue American Healthcare, which uncovers the U.S. Healthcare systems true design. I personally would watch Matthew's other documentaries because he really did get to the heart of the problem with this movie and put his life on the line, to the point were he didn't put on his bullet proof vest during one of the shoot-outs because he wanted to catch all of the action on camera. The movie did make me investigate what really did happen to José, who is still in prison but I did find it a bit weird that no one looked into the camera during the scenes in the various villages and the shoot-outs. That did make me question if the documentary was real but when I watched the bonus material on the DVD, I realised that these events really did happen. The cartels value for life did shock me and I can't imagine how it must be to live your life in fear, 24 hours a day. I think you can tell that I really enjoyed this film and I hope that it gets the recognition that it deserves.Budget: N/A Worldwide Gross: $1.1millionI recommend this movie to people who are into their documentary/action/drama movies about a physician in Michoacan, Mexico, who leads a citizen uprising against the drug cartel that has wreaked havoc on the region for years. 8/10
Two men stood against on the different side of the border for the same cause. (by Reno-Rangan)
I was not sure what to expect from this film. By seeing its poster, my mind was very clear that it definitely some serious subject. I'm kind of a person who's not okay with the lions killing a zebra on the animal planet, so I was worried about the clips they might show would be too violence. You know, in the movies everything's fake, and this isn't a movie, but a documentary. That's why I simply disliked 'The Act of Killing'.The opening scene was something like 'Breaking Bad', so I thought it might told from the bad guy's perspective about how their <more>
network and business would work. But everything drastically changed after the 5- 10 minutes of the film. It's where the original story commence.The two main characters were introduced who are fighting for a same cause, but separated by the international line. Across the border, under the different society and government, how these two sacrifice their lives in battle against the dangerous networks that threatens the peace is the story.In a small town on the southern border of the US, a small paramilitary team headed by Tim has taken such a measure to prevent the all kinds of trafficking. In the same line, Dr. Mireles from the Michoacan, Mexico, goes a bit bigger and stronger by forming a force with the volunteered people with arms to fight for the same mission.The film had many the phases, not like the chapters or the episodes, but like a split in the narration to cover the other side of the story. The stories of two men and their undertaking was the prime focus. That's what I thought, you know I felt it was a modern day 'The Magnificent Seven', but in the larger scale of everything. Only until a twist that surprised me, because I was not thought a tale would turn like this."I believe what I'm doing is good. And I believe what I'm standing up against is evil."So what's the twist? I tell you, you know, one man was doing his task all by himself with the help of a few other buddies. On the other side, the man's contribution becomes the nation and international news and publicity. In such circumstance, a fame can turn the destiny of a man on whatever side. It's not like why he did what he had done, but a default human nature.I thought 'Heli' was a fictional work. After seeing this documentary I'm not sure how to judge any country by what they depict in their films. Every nation has its flaws, but I wondered why Mexican government was so blind over drug trafficking as shown in this film, if the information was correct. The absence of the federal law enforcement agencies on those disputed places is really a humiliation for the government after this film officially entered the Oscars race.I don't think taking action again them won't collapse the nation or the economy. And again, I'm not the right person here to analyse and predict the nation's fate. I've never been to Mexico and I know little about Mexico, but all this only because of the curious to know the truth, that's all. When it comes to the filmmaking, I don't know how it was made.Documentaries usually follows with the series of interviews and the recorded clips, in this it was a live shot like any entertainment film. Maybe I must look for director's Q&A for the answers. But something was sure, that production happened at the right place at the right time.This a very good documentary film, very gripping and interesting storyline with the characters. I don't watch documentaries on the regular basis and to be honest, I saw it for the Oscars nod, to know what its special. I don't think it is going to win, certainly I can't either rule out the chances as it made this far. Anything might happen, so wait and see.It had a few dull moments, lot like a pause in the narration or took a wrong diversion after the first half. But during the conclusion, brought back to the track and clarified many doubts, yet leave a few unanswered. Not for the sake of the Academy Awards nominee, you can give it a try if you feel you're interested to know why the people are taking arms in their hands to fight the evil force that corrupting our society.8/10