DRUG WAR: A respectful and sensitive dedication Mexico’s dead and missing.

Astra Zoldnere
Zoldnere is a Latvian film director, curator and publicist. She is a regular contributor to Modern Times Review.
Published date: July 28, 2019

Dark Suns

(Soleils Noirs)

Julien Elie

Julien Elie


The epic documentary Dark Suns reveals a shocking picture of contemporary Mexico, the country where drug cartels have essentially taken over. These lawbreakers kill thousands of people every year and rarely get convicted. Julien Elie’s Mexico is a nightmare where anyone can disappear, anybody can get killed, and everybody is in constant danger. Criminals produce mass graves while countless people look for the bones of loved ones.


An ode to death

The dead have a special place in Mexican tradition. Already, Sergei Eisenstein filmed the Day of the Dead – a Mexican holiday where people come together to honor those who have died and help them on their spiritual journey – for his visually stunning documentary Que Viva Mexico. In the unfinished film’s epilogue (1979 version), we see a grotesque party. Gorgeous women dance with oddly masked skeletons, the dead kiss each other and happy children eat skull-shaped cookies.

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