Hot Docs: El Sicario, Room 164 [2011, Gianfranco Rosi]

Toronto – Despite the fact that this documentary is basically a 90 minute interview, El Sicario, Room 164 is an engaging film that sheds some light on the vast amount of corruption and crime that permeates central America.

Face hidden underneath a black veil and armed with only pen and paper, we meet an “El Scicario” (professional killer) in an empty hotel room somewhere near the border. He first explains the significance of the room before sitting down to tell us his life story. Spanning from the time he was in high school until present day, this man tells us how the cartel recruit youths into doing simple tasks, rewarding them with drugs, money, cars and women. From that point on, the story expands into all kinds of juicy subjects such as corruption, torture methods (quite brutal), kidnapping procedures and the like. It’s all dark and morbid material but at the same time, completely engrossing.

The 90 minute doc moves along quickly, partially because the man in the interview is a great story teller. Random shots of the city is used to break up the monotony of having a masked man speak to the camera. Without any footage, cinematography or bells and whistles, El Sicario, Room 164 is what it is, a 90 minute foray into the heart of darkness and those interested will be more than willing to come along for the ride.

The documentary is based on the article “The Sicario” by Charles Bowden.

Screening: Wed, May 4 11:00 AM @ The ROM Theatre

Posted on by Ricky in Hot Docs

About Ricky

Britpop lovin Chinaman, consumer of all things irrelevant. Toronto Raptors fan.

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