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El Velador (The Night Watchman)

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PBS Premiere: September 27, 2012


Award-winning director Natalia Almada (Al Otro Lado, POV 2006; El General, POV 2010) returns with a beautiful and mesmerizing new film. 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. Official Selection, 2011 Cannes Directors’ Fortnight and International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam. A co-production of Altamura Films, Latino Public Broadcasting and American Documentary | POV, with funding by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. A co-presentation with Latino Public Broadcasting.

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TAGS: cartel, drug lord, drug war, latin america, mausoleum, mexico

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Film Information

El Velador (The Night Watchman) (60 min.)

Premiere Date: September 27, 2012

Streaming Dates: Expired

Photos: Download Here

Trailer: Link | Embed

Filmmaker: Natalia Almada Bio | Interview | Statement

Press: Press Release | Press Release - Spanish | Critical Acclaim

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Natalia Almada
Natalia Almada

Critical Acclaim

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

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