Cartel Land

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USA | 2015 | 98 minutes | Matthew Heineman

July 17 - 30, 2015

SIFF Cinema Uptown | Ends Thursday!
One of the most riveting and critically acclaimed films of the year, this stunning documentary looks at the journeys of two modern-day vigilante groups and their shared enemy – the murderous Mexican drug cartels. Produced by Kathryn Bigelow (The Hurt Locker).

In the Mexican state of Michoacán, Dr. Jose Mireles, a small-town physician known as "El Doctor," leads the Autodefensas, a citizen uprising against the violent Knights Templar drug cartel that has wreaked havoc on the region for years. Meanwhile, in Arizona's Altar Valley – a narrow, 52-mile-long desert corridor known as Cocaine Alley – Tim "Nailer" Foley, an American veteran, heads a small paramilitary group called Arizona Border Recon, whose goal is to stop Mexico’s drug wars from seeping across our border.

With jaw-dropping cinematography, filmmaker Matthew Heineman embeds himself in the heart of darkness for a chilling, visceral meditation on the breakdown of order and the blurry line between good and evil.


"The drugs war south of the border, and its impact in the U.S, has been a popular one in film in recent years, from Traffic through "Breaking Bad," but few have captured the complexities and horrors as well as Matthew Heineman’s film." - Indiewire, The 20 Best Documentaries Of 2015 So Far

  • Director: Matthew Heineman
  • Country: USA, Mexico
  • Year: 2015
  • Running Time: 98 minutes
  • Website: Official Film Website
  • Awards: Sundance 2015 (US Documentary Directing Award, Documentary Special Jury Award for Cinematography)
  • Language: English, Spanish
  • Has Subtitles: Yes