MATTHEW HEINEMAN | USA | 2015 | 100 MIN | R
CITY OF GHOSTS director Matthew Heineman gained unparalleled access to the inner circles of Mexican and American anti-drug trafficking groups to make CARTEL LAND, a shocking, informative, and deeply troubling look at how cartel violence has affected communities on both sides of the border. In the state of Michoacán, Heinemen embeds himself with an armed civilian group calling themselves the Autodefensas, and offers a complex portrait of the group’s leader, Dr. José Mireles. The unorthodox approach of Mireles and his men put them at odds with both the cartels and the Mexican government, and Heinenman takes the viewer along for the ride as the Autodefensas engage in vicious gun fights and employ questionable methods to root out cartel members in their communities. On the other side of the border, Heineman follows Tim Foley, a recovered addict and leader of an armed civilian group who have taken it upon themselves to patrol the deserts of southern Arizona in an effort to stop flow of drugs. By exploring the thin line separating vigilante groups from the criminals they aim to target, Heineman offers not just a definitive examination of the Mexican drug war, but a sobering meditation on the corrupting influence of power.
“A vibrant, electrifying work.” –Indiewire
American cinema has always held a mirror to the country’s ever-changing cultural and political landscape, giving the American people a chance to experience their deepest fears and loftiest ambitions magnified by the power of the silver screen. With State of the Union, PFS invites audiences to explore the country’s past and imagine its future through films that rigorously examine American leaders, institutions, and values while still being great works of entertainment.