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A national filmmaker is bringing an international issue to a local theater through his latest project.
"Murder Capital of the World", an intense documentary from director Charlie Minn which highlights the drug war in Juarez, Mexico and its growing atrocities, will be premiering this weekend at the Premiere Cinema theater, located at the Mall of Abilene. The film will have a minimum run of one week starting this Friday, May 11 at 11:30 a.m. with weekend showtimes every two hours until 9:30 p.m.; weekday showtimes will begin at 1:30 p.m. with the same schedule.
The film will also debut this weekend in Times Square in New York and will later be released in areas such as Los Angeles. Speaking with Minn in a phone interview, he says he brought the film to Abilene due in part to the high population of Latinos in the area. While Abilene is made up of 20% of the ethnic group, Minn noted that Latinos make up around 30% of the population in Sweetwater--a community known for traveling to the neighboring city for shopping and watching movies.
Minn says that he made "Murder Capital" in order to give victims in Juarez--where the film was shot, a voice--people who are overlooked and have to deal with life-altering consequences. And Minn is no stranger to Juarez, as this is his second film set in the city.
Since the drug war began in 2006, over 50,000 people have died in Mexico. Over 10,000 murders have occurred in Juarez since 2008, which is 45% greater than the two United States' wars in the Middle East combined. In 2010, the number of murders in Juarez outweighed the number of deaths from the September 11 attacks.
"It's a devastating topic," said Minn. He also pointed out that--among the deaths in Juarez--over 95% of the murders will not be investigated by authorities.
Through Minn's efforts to bring this situation to light, he says that the only conclusion he has come to is that Mexicans are being discriminated against with no answer being given as to the lack of attention. He says that at the root of the problem in Mexico is the United States, who have supplied the drug lords with illegal weapons, among other items.
In addition, Minn stated that some of the horror within the Mexican borders has made its way inside America, where recently a bullet shot in Juarez ended up hitting a woman in El Paso, Texas. Minn says that President Barack Obama needs to give an answer to the situation immediately, but because of his re-election campaign he has delayed his response.
"If the United States and Mexico do not come together on this," Minn elaborated, "the problem will not go away."
With the release of "Murder Capital of the World", Minn is currently making his way around the nation to promote the film and spread the message. On Wednesday evening, he was in Abilene to preview clips and discuss the film. He will be heading to Kalamazoo College in Michigan at the end of the month, and he says he tries to speak to at least one college each month on the matter.
To learn more about "Murder Capital of the World," visit their website at murdercapitalfilm.com or check out the "Murder Capital of the World" page on Facebook, where you can find Minn's recent interview with Fox News' Greta van Susteren and an exclusive six-minute clip of the film.