What It’s Like to Grow Up in the Narco Zone

In a continuation of  “A Moment in Mexico,” the New York Times‘ special series of six Op-Docs by Mexican directors. The second film in the series is Everardo González’s haunting Children of the Narco Zone, which is a companion piece to his stunning feature documentary, La Libertad del Diablo (or Devil’s Freedom).

In both films, González explores the personal toll of organized crime and the drug war through searing interviews with people with direct experience either of violence or its social ramifications. In Children of the Narco Zone, the focus is specifically on how a climate of violence affects children and shapes their understanding of what’s right and wrong. As in La Libertad del Diablo, González dresses all his subjects in masks — partly to give them anonymity, and partly as an eerie aesthetic choice. But the result is a mosaic of deeply individual testimonies.

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