Quiet Pictures announced today the US Premiere of Bernardo Ruiz's documentary feature film Reportero at the Full Frame Film Festival this April; followed by the Human Rights Watch Film Festival in Chicago and New York City in May/June; and it will air nationally on PBS through POV as part of the series’ 25th anniversary this fall.
The film, a gripping and timely documentary film that explores the crucial issues of violence on the border, corruption and power in Mexico, and the struggle for 'free-speech', follows veteran reporter Sergio Haro and his colleagues at Semanario Zeta, a Tijuana, Mexico-based muckraking weekly, as they stubbornly ply their trade in what has become one of the deadliest places in the world to be a journalist.
“Impunity reigns in Mexico, especially here along the northern border,” explains Adela Navarro, Sergio’s boss and Zeta’s co-director. “With guns and money, drug traffickers have control over police, judges, prosecutors, and entire towns. More than 40 journalists have been slain or have vanished in Mexico since December 2006, when President Felipe Calderón came to power and launched a government offensive against the country’s powerful drug cartels and organized crime groups. This makes investigative journalism extraordinarily difficult.” So difficult, that Semanario Zeta continues to receive new threats.
Despite these threats and attacks, the weekly continues its singular brand of aggressive, investigative reporting. “Through Ruiz's brave and trenchant filmmaking we begin to understand the heavy sacrifices involved in refusing to be silenced,” writes Meghan Monsour, programmer of Ambulante, the celebrated traveling documentary film festival created by Gael García Bernal, Diego Luna, and Pablo Cruz. Combining the techniques of journalism and cinematic documentary, Reportero delves into “the psychology of investigative journalism,” (Univision) taking the viewer in to the tough decisions that journalists like Sergio Haro make every day.
Reportero, which was recently profiled and reviewed by San Diego Union-Tribune, Univision, Vice Mexico and cited in The New York Times, is currently on a 12-city tour of Mexico through, Ambulante. The film just screened this past weekend to sold-out houses in Tijuana and a special “advance screening” at the San Diego Latino Film Festival, and it will play in the Northern Mexican city of Mexicali on March 20 and 21. The film will also be screened at select festivals and venues throughout the spring and summer.