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Mexico's extravagant mausoleums

Watch El Velador (The Night Watchman) - Trailer on PBS. See more from POV.

This is a trailer of a well-regarded new documentary, El Velador (The Night Watchman) from Natalia Almada. I hadn't heard of it until I was on a radio show following her this week. The documentary focuses on Humaya Gardens, a cemetery filled with huge mausoleums of slain drug lords in Culiacan. It was shown this week on PBS. I visited the cemetery two years ago and wrote about it here. We were all nervous when visiting the place. Almada is brave to hang out there long enough to make this documentary. By the way, I see that the New York Times gave the documentary a very positive review in July. And Roger Ebert is also effusive in his praise.

Update: The documentarist, Natalia Almada, has just won a MacArthur "genius" grant. Along with 22 other MacArthur fellows, she'll have $500,000 to sustain her for future endeavors.


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This is the same town that is depicted in the telenovela, "La Reina del Sur" which was the first time I heard of this place. This documentary is remarkable to say the least. It's sad to see what the business of drug trafficking is doing to these people.

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This blog is written by Tim Johnson, the Mexico bureau chief for McClatchy Newspapers.

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