By Polo Munoz, Publisher/Managing Editor
“Al sistema no le gustan los heroes.” “The system does not appreciate heroes.”
Through out the many truths that are spoken and shown in Narcos: Mexico, it is with great sadness that many of us immigrants know that much of the story feels more like a docu-series than a fictional narrative. The story shows us how the abyss of violence escalated because of drugs and the ineptness and corruption of the Mexican political class. The events are recognizable, and it feels as if they just happened, and in fact, they are still happening. There is no past to the plague that has Mexico in its grasp and it began because of need, greed, lack of moral compass and because of the hunger and anger of a population that has been robbed of an education and the riches of its native land since its inception as a Presidential Federal Republic, Mexico is not a full democracy, never has been one, and as of 2017 the US is not one either according to the Economist Intelligence Unit; www.eiu.com
The story is somber and compelling, not celebrating violence but exposing it as the consequences of packaging pleasure as a product, with willing consumers that do not look past their own gratification. Humans will do anything to achieve moments or ecstasy as part of their way to fully find joy or in an effort to escape pain when they seem to think life is not enough.
The graphic portrayal of violence and perversion are disturbing and conflicting but necessary. Gustavo Santaolalla and Kevin Kiner masterfully crafted a soundtrack that keep us longing for delivery from the sadness but hold us softly as the story unfolds. The music uses sadness to accent the conflict between our general repugnance of pain and grotesque events and our desensitized perception that other similar shows use to make violence attractive and exciting.
The storytelling gives us time to breath, gives us time to understand what and how the violence escalated and most surprising, it provides an unexpected amount of information on who was involved and who would need to be involved in the pillars of the Mexican government to make sure it happened, and continues to happen. We experience the most disappointing ghost of a Mexico that many of us know and see when we visit family and hear their stories of longing for opportunity, quashed by fear and anger, the frustrated picture of Mexicans who see but never experience the beauty and abundance of their land, they can’t afford it. The feeling that they live without a sense of connection because their homeland’s warmth and care continues to be taken from them through violence and dismissal.
Diego Luna, Tenoch Huerta, Joaquin Cosio, Teresa Ruiz, Alyssa Diaz, Isabella Bautista, Michael Pena, Matt Letscher and the rest of the cast create an atmosphere that is truthful to the essence of those folks we would meet in this business; some kind and mild, others brutal and angry, some lost and absent, but all of them viciously violent.
Narcos: Mexico is graphic, sad, violent and perfectly paced. It paints a picture that will resonate with those that have seen and experienced the changes that are being perpetrated in Mexico. This story is one that I never expected to be told as honestly and as practically as it is told; it must be watched and it will make you sad. If there is hope for change in the violence warping Mexico, this story does not show us any.