In the documentary Kingdom of Shadows, the audience gets an eye opening view of the U.S.-Mexico “drug war” and who are the real victims of the devastation. Directed by Bernardo Ruiz, he forces the audience to see the human cost of the war, through the perspectives of three very different individuals who have been affected by the war.
Ruiz tells the story through the eyes of Sister Consuelo Morales, an activist nun in violence-scarred Monterrey, Mexico, whom is pushing for change on behalf of the families who have lost loved ones to the drug cartels that seem to have taken over the law enforcement. On the U.S. side of the border, Ruiz follows the story of Texan rancher Don Henry Jr., who gives a clear history of drug smuggling in the U.S., which he later served time for and an undercover agent-turned-senior Homeland Security officer, Oscar Hagelsieb, who offers the unique perspective of a child with undocumented parents and the journey he took to make a life for himself and the battle he faces to make sure individuals like his parents can come to the U.S. and create a successful life.
Each of these stories is full of emotion, as the audience is forced to see the truth of the problem, not just the U.S. side of the problem. This is a problem that crosses a border and definitely gives the viewer a new understanding of what they are being told in the news. Instead of hearing that it’s one countries fault, the very real people that we are introduced to see where the true problem lies, with the drug cartels. This is more than just a drug problem, it’s a problem where thousands of individuals have “disappeared” and no one is doing anything about it.
Don’t be surprised if you are full of emotion and thoughts of right and wrong when you are done watching Kingdom of Shadows, because it’s a film that asks you to think and to really understand where the problem of the drug war that has been going on between the U.S. and Mexico for decades. A great documentary film that allows the viewers to walk away with information that they wouldn’t normally find in the news, if you want to learn more about the drug war, this is definitely the film for you.
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Photo Credit: Participant Media