El Velador / The Night Watchman
Jul 06 - Jul 12, 2012
(Natalia Almada, Mexico, 2011, digiBETA, 72 min)
In El Velador, director Natalia Almada depicts the brutality of Mexico’s drug war through the quiet that falls between the moments of violence. The film follows a night watchman in Culiacan cemetery, a place populated with large mausoleums of once-powerful men who are now casualties of conflict. Almada says she sought to create a film that was neither educational or activist, seeking not understanding, but "to rescue the sense of humanity that violence kills."
"El Velador is cinema in a state of perfection." -The Stranger
"ruminative yet potent" -Seattle Weekly
"Almada returns to the repeated image of the night watchman watering the dirt around the cemetery entrance. Maybe he's watering to keep dust down, we don't know. But the futility of spraying water on this sun-baked land is a fitting illustration of the immense futility of the violent cycle we don't actually see in "El Velador," but that looms behind it like a death's mask." -The Weekly Herald
"EL VELADOR is an unsettlingly quiet, even lyrical film about a world made and unmade by violence" –AO Scott, The New York Times