Film Review: El Sicario, Room 164

| Tue Dec. 27, 2011 6:00 AM EST

El Sicario, Room 164

ICARUS FILMS

80 minutes

In a motel room in or around Ciudad Juárez, a man in a black veil sits down to spill his guts. This sparse, haunting film, coproduced by Mother Jones contributor Charles Bowden, centers on a monologue delivered by a former sicario, a hit man for a Mexican drug cartel. In businesslike tones, he details his bloody career, from his recruitment as a teenager to his years of service to el patrón. He demonstrates how he nearly drowned one of his "patients" in the bathtub of this very room. But his calm wavers as he explains how he escaped the cartel, at least for now. "There are no borders for the narcotraffickers," he says. "Whenever they want to do something, they have the money to get it done by anybody, anywhere."

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