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Thursday, Oct 11 2012 02:20 PM

Documentary on violence in Ciudad Juarez to play in Bakersfield

BY JASON KOTOWSKI Californian staff writer jkotowski@bakersfield.com

Sometimes filmmaker Charlie Minn gets the feeling that nobody in the U.S. cares about the thousands of deaths the drug war has caused in the Mexican city of Ciudad Juarez.

He's hoping his documentary, "Murder Capital of the World," will open eyes to the horror the people there live through. The film will play for a week at Edwards Cinemas in Bakersfield beginning Friday.

Related Info

What: Documentary film "Murder Capital of the World" comes to Bakersfield.

Where: Edwards Cinemas, 9000 Ming Ave.

When: The film begins showing Friday and will play for at least a week. Showtimes are 10:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m., 3:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m., 7:30 p.m. and 10:15 p.m.

For more information on showtimes: Call Edwards at 663-3042.

"(Audiences) are going to see perhaps the worst overlooked human rights disaster in the world today," Minn said inside Edwards on Wednesday afternoon.

In town only for the day before flying to El Paso, Texas, Minn said he chose Bakersfield as a site for his film because of the large Hispanic population, many of whom may have friends and family affected by the violence south of the border. The film has been in limited release since February, and Bakersfield will probably be the last time it's shown in theaters, he said.

People should be outraged by what's going on in Ciudad Juarez and other areas ravaged by the war between the government and drug cartels, Minn said. He'd be ecstatic if something similar to the "Kony" movement happened in regard to his film.

Released in 2012, the "Kony" video -- about the head of a Ugandan guerrilla group and the atrocities they've committed -- has received millions of views on YouTube. The violence in Ciudad Juarez deserves at least as much attention, especially because the huge drug consumption of the U.S. is a major contributing factor to the situation, Minn said.

"Most people have the attitude of 'it's happening over there,'" Minn said of U.S. citizens' response to the violence. "If you smoke pot, you're contributing to it."

The film is the second in a trilogy of documentaries about Ciudad Juarez that Minn has directed. He said overall the response from viewers has been very positive, with some people telling him a film concerning the ravaged city was long overdue.

A manager at Edwards said he couldn't comment, and calls to Regal Cinemas' marketing department were not returned.

Minn said if "Murder Capital of the World" performs well he'll do his best to bring the third film, "The New Juarez," to Bakersfield. Spending so much time in Ciudad Juarez has had a strong impact on him.

"It's been a learning and very troubling experience," Minn said.

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