Thousands of Mexicans die each year in the drug war. Many are relatives of Bakersfield immigrants. This Friday, a documentary from the heart of the killings in Juarez, Mexico, will screen here in town.
The documentary is called 'Murder Capital of the World' and for the last year it has been shown in theaters across the nation. It's first and only screening in California will be at the Edwards Theater in Bakersfield because the director said his film will hit home here.
Juarez, Mexico is a town right across the border from El Paso, Texas. According to the documentary, there are as many as 3,000 murders a year in the city because of the Mexican drug cartels.
"This film sticks up for the innocent Mexican people who have been brutally cheated during this shocking wave of violence," said Charlie Minn, the film's director.
This is the second of three documentaries Minn has made about Juarez. The first was called '8 Murders a Day' and the third was 'The New Juarez'.
"They are going to see probably the most overlooked natural disaster in the world today," said Minn.
Theaters across the nation have shown the film, and because of the large Mexican population in Kern County, starting Friday it will play in Bakersfield.
"I am sure many of them have been devastated by the war. I am sure they have friends and God forbid family members who have been greatly affected by this," said Minn.
Bakersfield resident, Dr. Jess Nieto, grew up in Juarez and has relatives who've died in the conflict.
"My own family, we have suffered the death of two cousins that lived in Juarez," said Nieto.
Nieto believes similar stories are shared by many Bakersfield immigrants with loved ones in Juarez, which is why the director felt it was so important to bring the film's message to central California.
"This film is meant to inform, educate, and create a reaction. It's very easy to be sad and silent, but if you are sad and silent that does nothing," said Minn.
Starting Friday October 12th, Murder Capital of the World will be screened at Edwards Theater at the Marketplace at 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.
More information and a link to the film's trailer can be found at murdercapitalfilm.com.