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Sundance review: 'Narco Cultura'

Published January 22, 2013 7:56 am

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"Narco Cultura"

U.S. Dramatic

***1/2 (three-and-a-half stars)

Shaul Schwarz's brutally frank documentary examines the deadly carnage of Mexico's drug war through two whose lives are defined by it. Richi Soto is a crime-scene investigator in Juarez, where business is all-too abundant, with thousands of murders a year, but arrests and convictions are rare.. Edgar Quintero is a musician in Los Angeles, a narco corrido singer who writes songs praising the lives of those on the side of the drug cartels — a musical genre growing in popularity in Mexico (despite being banned on Mexican TV and radio) and the United States. Schwarz follows Soto from crime scenes to forensics labs, and goes on the road with Quintero's swaggering band from concert venues to the birthplace of the Sinaloa cartel. What emerges is a portrait of a culture so engrained in violence and power that permeates all parts of life.

— Sean P. Means

"Narco Cultura" screens again: Wednesday, 11:45 a.m., The MARC Theatre, Park City; Thursday, 9:15 p.m., Broadway Centre Cinemas 6, Salt Lake City; Friday, 9 a.m., Temple Theatre, Park City; Saturday, 3:30 p.m., Redstone Cinema 1, Park City.