260MC: Placing your Media Production in Context- Summer Homework

For your summer task we would like you to watch a film in an independent or art house cinema (e.g. Electric Cinema, Birmingham or Notting Hill, Curzon, Picturehouse, BFI, etc).  The film you see must be independent (not Hollywood).

You should:

  • Pick a film at random
  • Go alone
  • Go in the daytime
  • Take a pen and a note pad to write down your reflections once the film and has finished

You should reflect on the style of the film, the mood and tone of the film, and your experience of watching it in a cinema.  Write not only on the film itself, but on the whole experience.  Observe the world around you as you enter the cinema, and when you leave.  Be quiet.  Consider what you see and what you hear.  Observe the way light operates in different spaces, the changes in sound, and look at the people around you.

Bring your reflections with you on week 1. 

 I went to see Cartel Land at the Phoenix, Leicester on the 9th of September. It was a documentary about dictation in Mexico in small villages who were tormented by drug cartels, and how two different vigilante groups were attempting to put a stop to it.

Experience before film: Booked tickets two hours before it started, I was also given a separate ticket encouraging audience participation to scratch it and maybe win a prize. It was solely for this particular film. This was the earliest film playing at the Phoenix Cinema on this day so I sat in the cafe before giving in my ticket to be checked. The film started on point and I noticed that the screen room was smaller than normal cinemas because it is an indie art cinema which also had a stage where the screen was.

Produced by:

  • A&E
  • Ourtime
  • Docgroup

Drug Cartel family so big had to be split into 2 groups: Il Familia/ Knights Templars- wanted for smuggling meth across the border. They terrorise small villages such as Michoacan where they are allowed to behead and torture anyone they desire as no one is brave enough to stop them. The police don’t stop them and they force the public to hand over tax payments. For example an employer of a small lime company didn’t have any money to pay to them so they took revenge by killing 15 employees and small babies of the family by holding their feet and smashing their heads against rocks before throwing them into wells. In the small town of Michoacan are the town’s elders where there is a man named Jose Manuel Mirelez who decides with other elders to create a division called Autodefensas that will also use weapons to stop the Knights Templars as it is they who have caused trouble to them. They go from town to town gathering more volunteers with the sole purpose of only stopping them cartels and handing them to the police. However the police simply release them and hand them their weapons back giving Jose Mirelez the impression that the government are supporting them and this is all organised crime. Some volunteers in some towns are stopping the Templars but are also using it to their advantage to steal possessions and break into houses which goes against the rules of the Autodefensas. Meanwhile there is another vigilante group of Americans in Arizona lead by Tim “Nailer” Foley who is trying to stop drugs being smuggled across the border. 18 years before this he was also a Meth addict but had cleaned himself up after an accident. Going back to small time physician, Doctor Jose, the government find that his group “Autodefensas” are a threat to society by carrying weapons without a licence obviously showing double standards which can be seen by Jose Mirelez so they ask him to shut down the Autodefensas but because the government still haven’t stopped the Templars Jose says he won’t. The government then try to negotiate by saying to him to shut down the Autodefensas and to reopen another defence league which worked for the Government howeveer Jose Mirelez declined yet again, putting him on the run from the Government and the Templars and not long till the Autodefensas themselves. This is because of how volunteers went rogue and became just as vicious as the cartels themselves, and also because his partner,Estanislao Beltran (aka- Papa Smurf), of the autodefensas signed an agreement with the government saying that they would work for them. Jose Mirelez also had no support from his family because he cheated on his wife during this time so he had to hide but on 27th June 2014 he was arrested for carrying weapons without a licence and till this day the public and him speak out saying that the government are trying to silence him. As for the newly formed Autodefensas, they are working for the government still thinking or perhaps pretending that they are after the Cartels but maybe don’t realise that they are in fact allies with them as the Cartels are allies with the government itself. Tim Foley is still trying to stop drugs being smuggled across the border but unfortunately to this day meth is still being made and sold to the public in both Mexico and the USA by the Cartels.

2015-09-10 08.04.28

2015-09-10 08.04.43 2015-09-10 08.04.52


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