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Critical Acclaim for ‘El Velador’

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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

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POV Staff
POV Staff
POV (a cinema term for "point of view") is television's longest-running showcase for independent non-fiction films. POV premieres 14-16 of the best, boldest and most innovative programs every year on PBS. Since 1988, POV has presented over 300 films to public television audiences across the country. POV films are known for their intimacy, their unforgettable storytelling and their timeliness, putting a human face on contemporary social issues.
  • magcius

    Nice to see that 93% out of all 110% filmmakers use Mac.

    • interactive

      Respondents were able to choose multiple answers for each question, so our numbers don’t always add up to 100%. Same is true for much of the rest of the survey.

  • Brian

    I’ve been using the Sony F5 for the past several months as the primary camera to shoot Behind-the-Scenes on film sets.

    Prior to that, the Sony F900R and Sony EX3 were the cameras of choice.

    GoPros are also used as necessary for stunt/action setups.

    Wish I would have known about this survey when they were looking for participants. Now that more of us have now seen it, perhaps PBS would consider redoing it.

  • interactive

    Thank you for your translation.

  • gmolodtsov – updated and fully translated survey!