Film Review: El Sicario, Room 164


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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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily bluster—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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