MEXICO: Capturing the culture

Mexico: Capturing the conflict | DW Documentary (culture documentary)

Mexico through the lens of photographers: a complex and diverse country full of tragedy and magic, defined by tensions between North and South, city and country, desert and jungle, Latin America and the USA.

This documentary sets out on a journey from the north to the south of Mexico. In Tijuana, the first stop, photographer Francisco Mata Rosas looks at the issue of national borders. Volcanoes, dense forests and barren deserts characterize Mexico’s landscape. Exploring its vast territory and diverse population reveals many social, religious, cultural and economic contrasts.
The murders of women in Ciudad Juárez demonstrate the merciless violence of the drug cartels. Photographer Mayra Martell subtly captures their atrocities in her images. In San Pedro Garza García, the richest community in Latin America, Yvonne Venegas takes a look at the Mexican elite from an anthropological point of view. Further south, in the megalopolis of Mexico City, Federico Gama has been photographing Cholos, Mazahuacholoskatopunks, Iluminados and other denizens of Mexican counterculture for over 20 years.

On the isthmus of Tehuantepec, artist Edgardo Aragón denounces the ecological devastation that a transport corridor designed to compete with the Panama Canal has brought to both nature and the local population. In Chiapas, legendary war photographer Pedro Valtierra recalls the Zapatista uprising — and a still unpunished crime: the Acteal massacre. Finally, we meet one of the most important artists of the 20th Century: the famous Mexican photographer Graciela Iturbide. Beyond the harsh reality of her country, Iturbide has succeeded in capturing a world of dreams where beauty resists grim reality.

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