Narco Cultura

Shaul Schwarz

The Mexican drug war is spiraling out of control, and meanwhile a musical subculture that glorifies that same war is blossoming in the United States.

Richard Soto is at the center of the storm that is the Mexican drug war. He is a forensic examiner in Juarez, one of the most dangerous cities in the world - there were 3,622 murders in 2010 alone. Every day, Soto drives around his beloved but so terribly violent city picking up lifeless bodies. Award-winning photographer Shaul Schwarz brings the daily dramas to the screen with great calmness and sensitivity, accompanied by a voice-over in which Soto reflects on his life in Juarez. Meanwhile, a subculture is blossoming in the United States that sings the praises of the drug world through the Mexican version of gangsta rap known as narcocorridos. And family man Edgar Quintero is reaping the rewards with his narcocorridos, about the lives of the Mexican drug barons who have such elevated status among Latin American youth. The songs reflect a macabre vision of the American dream, in which the drug trade is the key to fame, success, and an escape from poverty.


Shaul Schwarz
Country of production
United States, Mexico
103 minutes
Spoken language
English, Spanish
Production company
Parts and Labor Films
World Sales
K5 Media Group GmbH