sprizzle’s review published on Letterboxd:
Cartel Land is intense. Screw the talk about "false equivalence". Take the documentary for what it's worth on the surface. A camera taking in the perspective from a few different vantage points surrounding cartels in Mexico. Someone taking some serious risks to get footage from inside dangerous areas in Mexico. Filming some less dangerous yet in some regards more "extreme" areas in the United States. It's a really pretty documentary that has great flow. And it's about one of the biggest issues currently indirectly affecting America.
I'll be honest, I'm selfish. I want the cartel problem to be cleaned up so I can visit Mexico again. It's a beautiful country full of absolutely beautiful people. It sucks the cartels and drug trade have stifled the brilliance of their culture. It sucks those people have to fear for their lives and their children's lives everyday. People who have fled to America with family in Mexico wait for bad news everyday. It's a problem that may or may not have a simple solution. Legalizing drugs most likely wouldn't put much of a hurt on the gangs. The problem is bigger than that. But I'm no expert. I don't have the solution.
Even if you don't agree with the "message", you have to give some respect to the filmmakers. There is some real danger here. Real violence is happening in Mexico everyday. To have the courage to go down and tell their story, and in such a beautiful way, is commendable. I don't know what my favorite documentary is this year if it isn't Cartel Land.