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KINGDOM OF SHADOWS | Movie Review

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KINGDOM OF SHADOWS | © 2015 Participant Media

Where Hollywood fails, reality takes over!

We as Americans tend to look at Mexico as those guys are flooding our streets with drugs. They’re flooding our economy with illicit money. But you really wouldn’t have that problem if there wasn’t demand. We’re the country with the highest consumption of illegal narcotics in the world. So, we have a lot to do with that, too.” – Oscar Hagelsieb (Senior Homeland Security Officer – KINGDOM OF SHADOWS)

What difference is there between a drug cartel and terrorists? None! Both terrorize and kill for the purposes of twisted ideologies. In KINGDOM OF SHADOWS, director Bernardo Ruiz provides a deep, shocking look at the human cost of the U.S.- Mexico drug war through the perspectives of three unlikely individuals.

Unlike NARCO CULTRA (’13), which focuses on warped glorification of drug-lords as iconic outlaws and “blessing” the lifestyle through narcocorridos, or CARTEL LAND (’15), which embarks on the trouble cartels are causing in Mexico and the U.S. as they push more and more for people to enforce their own personal justice, KINGDOM does a wonderful job diving deeper within the cost of lives tangled in a complex web known as the “war on drugs.”

With perspectives from three individuals (Sister Consuelo Morales, Texan Rancher Don Henry, Senior Homeland Security Officer, Oscar Hagelsieb) upon their own experiences and outlook towards such chaotic complexities, KINGDOM is a touching eye-opener regarding extreme levels of corruption in Mexico from ground up and the demand that’s ignited the atrocities at the hands of America. It’s an issue with drastic tentacles that make it a horrifying reality far from being over. (Unless we do something most aren’t too fond of… legalizing the shit, and putting ALL those bastards out of business.)

Overall, it’s a well-executed, thought-provoking documentary that provides more than we think and/or would like to know. Three sides to a story, ladies and gentleman: ours, theirs, and what’s really happening. Captured and presented with flawless precision, director Bernardo Ruiz deserves a standing ovation. 

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Grade: A+ | Genre: Documentary | Rated: PG-13 | Run Time: 1:15

Directed by: Bernardo Ruiz

In select theaters and video on-demand NOW!

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