Jun 17 2014

New Film Heli Explores Civilian Toll of Mexico’s Drug War

The Economist reported last week that a disappearance of hundreds of residents from the Mexican border town of Allende was finally coming to light. Three years ago mobs of gang members from the formidable Zetas gang attacked the town, targeting the immediate and extended family members of two men they believed that slighted them. Several hundred people were rounded up at gunpoint and disappeared. Fear of retaliation kept the story from coming to light, until now.

A family in a Mexico border town has their life ripped apart by an unexpected series of events that thrusts them into the middle of the brutal drug war. Authorities investigated the incident 3 years after it took place and found the remains of the victims in oil drums. The actual number of victims is still unknown, as is the case for the Drug war as a whole.

Now, a new feature film by up and coming Mexican director Amat Escalante, explores the violence of the drug war through its impact on one small family in the border town of Guanajuato. Heli, is the title of the film, as well as the name of a young man who works at an automobile factory, living with his father, sister, young wife, and baby in a modest two room home.

GUEST: Amat Escalante, Director of Heli; he won the 2013 Best Director Award at the Cannes Film Festival, only the fourth Mexican director to be recognized with the prize in the 68 years of the film festival

Heli opened in Los Angeles on June 13th at the Laemmle Playhouse in Pasadena, and the Laemmle NoHo in North Hollywood. It will open on August 8th at the Roxie Theater in San Francisco.

Click here to find out more about the film, Heli.

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