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El sicario: Room 164

Dirigida por Gianfranco Rosi
Estados Unidos, Francia, 2010


The stunning story of El Sicario, a hitman for organised crime in Ciudad Juárez, the murder capital of the world. He tells all: how, what, where, who and why. In a hotel room, with a bag over his head, because if they find him, he’s dead.

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El sicario: Room 164 Dirigida por Gianfranco Rosi


Venice Film Festival

2010 | 2 victorias incluyendo: Biografilm Award (Documentary)

Doclisboa International Film Festival

2010 | Ganador: City of Lisbon Award (International Competition)

In El Sicario, everything described—institutionally ignored kidnappings, gang-rapes, mass burials, torture, bribery—is currently happening in one form or another all the time, all over Mexico. Hearing and seeing the details makes understanding this structure newly horrifying. The fluency of his speech and the straightforwardness of his hand-drawn diagrams and physical, procedural recreations… is oddly pedagogical. There is no choice but to get it.
June 03, 2013
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Rosi’s clearly spent some time pondering documentary strategies and avoids conventional solutions to let his film breathe… Instead of cutting away, Rosi has the man hold a simple, benign pad of white paper and a Sharpie, used as tools to punctuate his tale. The camera pans downward as the sicario hastily scrawls important words and underlines them, or adds stick figures whose generic figurative quality only serves to make his dire tales even more distressing.
January 06, 2012
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Among other things Rosi’s film is a grotesque window on the ravages of Mexico’s drug war and the country’s extreme social inequities, and the memoirs of an individual we might prefer not to know about.
January 03, 2012
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