Does Charlie Minn ever take a break? The high-energy producer, director and writer has graced the Southwest border with his talents to produce four films about high-profile events. He made a documentary about the worst massacre ever in Las Cruces, New Mexico, which occurred in a bowling alley and remains unsolved. That movie was called "A Nightmare in Las Cruces." Then, he did three films in a row (a trilogy) abou the worst ever episode of drug violence in Mexico, focusing on Juarez, Chihuahua. In order of production, the three films are "8 Murders a Day," "Capital Murder of the World," and "The New Juarez." This last one premieres this week in area movie theaters. (At Bassett Place in El Paso.) Trailer and other details are at http://www.thenewjuarez.com/Trailer
You can see more of Charlie's film projects listed at www.imdb.com/name/nm0591472/ Charlie's films have shined a light on crimes that might otherwise go unnoticed outside the region, even when they involve 11,000-plus homicides in Juarez since 2007. Most of them will go unsolved. Many people in the borderland are grateful that Charlie took the time and invested the resources to make these important films. His work in Juarez took place during a very dangerous period. He deserves recognition from the film industry for the body of work he contributed to the issue of violence linked to the drug trade. Minn, a former TV newsman, also appears to be genuinely concerned about human rights.
Other new movies of special interest to our area include "Bless Me Ultima," based on the book by Rudolfo Anaya, (see the trailer at http://vimeo.com/45341461), which has universal appeal, and "Mexican Sunrise" by Rowdy Stovall (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jx7q6H03IqM). Stovall's movie does a great job of capturing the sense of dread inspired by the underworld in Mexico.
Then, there is the movie "Fort Bliss," which is in production and is being filmed this week at the Fort Bliss Army post. Michelle Monaghan plays the main character, an Army medic and single mother returning from the war in Afghanistan. We met Ms. Monaghan yesterday, during a break between takes, and she was very personable. The El Paso "extras" were excited about have a role in the movie.
We've heard there is another Hollywood movie in the works about detectives in El Paso, Texas, and Juarez, Mexico, who cooperate to investigate a serial killer at the border. In real life, only the "cooperation" part is missing. We've got detectives and suspected serial killers (who've killed in Juarez) on the loose, but no advances due to the missing essential ingredient known as two sides mutually helping each other out to make the entire border community safe from cunning and dangerous criminals. I went into detail on all this in my book "The Killing Fields: Harvest of Women" (Spanish version is Cosecha de Mujeres).