Participant Media has announced the U.S. theatrical release and North American tour of the documentary film Kingdom of Shadows by Bernardo Ruiz (pictured left). The film premiered at the SXSW Film Festival this year, and will screen throughout the United States and Mexico this fall leading up to its video-on-demand and theatrical releases November 20 in Los Angeles, New York, and select cities.
Ruiz is previously known for directing the Emmy-nominated Reportero, and hailed by New York Magazine as "a powerful reminder of how journalism often requires immense amounts of physical and psychological bravery."
In Kingdom of Shadows, Ruiz takes an unflinching look at the human cost of the U.S.-Mexico drug war through the perspectives of three unlikely individuals. Sister Consuelo Morales, based in the devastated city of Monterrey, prods government officials to take action against the drug cartels on behalf of grieving families whose loved ones have gone missing. Texan
rancher Don Henry Ford Jr. offers historical context for the evolution to the hyper-violent state of drug trafficking today, as he recounts his career as a smuggler during the 1980s, before he served time for importing marijuana.
And undercover agent-turned-senior Homeland Security officer, Oscar Hagelsieb, recounts his own remarkable journey and offers a unique perspective on the U.S.’ role in the drug war. As the child of undocumented parents, Oscar grew up in an impoverished neighborhood where many of his peers gave in to the temptations of the drug economy.
Ruiz has spent his entire professional life exploring the relationship between the United States and Mexico and sees this film as a continuation of the work he has done throughout his career: "I believe this crisis has been underreported until recently... what I wanted to do in Kingdom of Shadows is to make a stealth human-rights film. It’s an exploration of the root causes behind this unacceptable level of violence in Mexico."
The film opens November 20 at Cinema Village in New York City, at the Downtown Independent in Los Angeles, the Media Arts Center in San Diego, and the St. Anthony Main Theater in Minneapolis. It will also have special screenings in numerous cities across the U.S. and Mexico including Austin, Dallas, and San Francisco.
Top photo courtesy of IMCINE.