Read what critics and journalists have to say about the POV film by the MacArthur Award-Winning Director Natalia Almada.
From dusk to dawn, El Velador (The Night Watchman) accompanies Martin, a guard who watches over the extravagant mausoleums of some of Mexico’s most notorious drug lords. In the labyrinth of the cemetery, this film about violence without violence reminds us that, amid the turmoil of a drug war that has claimed more than 50,000 lives, ordinary existence persists in Mexico and quietly defies the dead.
“An unsettlingly quiet, even lyrical film about a world made and unmade by violence.”
— A.O. Scott, The New York Times
“The Mexican drug cartels have inspired countless films, but never one as final as Natalia Almada’s
El Velador. After this experience, everything else seems trivial.”
— Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
“[A] hypnotically detailed feature documentary depiction of life and death.”
— Bruce Bennett, The Wall Street Journal
“An exquisite study of a rapidly expanding cemetery at the center of Mexico’s drug wars. . . . the necropolis claims a rhythm all its own.”
— Ronnie Scheib, Variety
“Almada brings us a unique perspective into a drug war where shouting headlines and graphic photos can numb the public to its horrors.”
— Jeremy Schwartz, The Austin-American Statesman
— Carolina Moreno, The Huffington Post
“El Velador is cinema in a state of perfection.”
— Charles Mudede, The Stranger