Doc/Fest 2019 Review: Dark Suns

Femicide is not a thing I really knew much about until I saw this powerful documentary, but I now realise that the city Ecatepec is the most dangerous place to be a woman in the whole of Mexico, possibly in all of Latin America. Women are being murdered at an unbelievable rate. Military, police, judges and lawyers are implicated in the trafficking and murder of women, and it is getting worse. Throughout Mexico, men and women disappear at an alarming and increasing rate. This story is mainly told by devastated relatives, who have been left with no explanation for their loved ones’disappearances. Journalists who investigate are are killed and Priests who discus these topics publicly are also under threat. The police force and the military come in for much criticism for looking the other way, or much worse, carrying out atrocities on behalf of the criminals. One mother in the state of Veracruz says “We are in the land of people without scruples. In the land of murderers. We’re in their territory”. EOrdinary people get caught up in the struggles between organised criminal gangs. Even full bus loads of people on their way to work are killed, who had no connection at all with crime, seemingly so that one gang can demonstrate its power over the rest. One terrible fear is that when people disappear, they are often kidnapped and forced to work for gangs, keeping relatives hopes alive that they could still be out there.

Long After the film is over your mind echoes with images of desperately sad relatives, clutching photos of lost loved ones, but it is an important film which should be seen to raise the awareness of us all about what is happening in Mexico. And mention should also go the the mesmerising soundtrack by Mimi Allard, which gives an emotive and unearthly feeling to many scenes, powerfully underling the devastation these events have.

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