Humanities Institute

Controversy & Conversation Film Screening and Discussion: "Cartel Land" with Discussion by Dr. Jake Dizard

Thu, November 1, 2018 | Terrazas Branch, Austin Public Library, 1005 E. Cesar Chavez St., Austin, TX 78702

6:30 PM - 9:00 PM

Cartel Land
Cartel Land

With unprecedented access, Cartel Land is a riveting, on-the-ground look at the journeys of two modern-day vigilante groups and their shared enemy – the murderous Mexican drug cartels.

In the Mexican state of Michoacán, Dr. Jose Mireles, a small-town physician known as "El Doctor," leads the Autodefensas, a citizen uprising against the violent Knights Templar drug cartel that has wreaked havoc on the region for years. Meanwhile, in Arizona's Altar Valley – a narrow, 52-mile-long desert corridor known as Cocaine Alley – Tim "Nailer" Foley, an American veteran, heads a small paramilitary group called Arizona Border Recon, whose goal is to stop Mexico’s drug wars from seeping across our border.

About the Film:

Produced by Kathryn Bigelow, Cartel Land is the winner of the 2015 Documentary Film Award from the George Polk Awards in Journalism and was nominated for Best Documentary at the 69th British Academy Film Awards and for the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature at the 88th Academy Awards. 

The film's director, Matthew Heineman, won the Best Director Award and Special Jury Award for Cinematography for the film in the U.S. Documentary Competition at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival, where the documentary premiered. He was presented the award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Documentary by the Directors Guild of America, as well as the 2015 Courage Under Fire Award for the film by the International Documentary Association.

Watch the trailer.


Jake Dizard
About the Guest Speaker:

Jake Dizard is a Postdoctoral Fellow with the Mexico Security Initiative at the Robert S. Strauss Center for International Security and Law. He received his Ph.D. in 2018 from the Department of Government at the University of Texas at Austin. His dissertation focused on the militarization of public security and civil-military relations in Mexico and Colombia. Prior to his doctoral studies he worked as a Latin America political analyst at the NGO Freedom House, where he also managed a cross-national survey of democratic governance in developing countries and wrote pieces for outlets including the Miami HeraldChristian Science Monitor, and Harvard International Review. His research interests include security policy and rule of law systems in Latin America, accountability for state human rights violations, and civil-military relations in developing countries. He holds an MA in international relations from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies and a BA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  


The screening will begin at 6:30PM, to be followed by a brief community conversation. Refreshments will be provided. 

Controversy & Conversation offers a monthly screening and discussion of a documentary film in collaboration between the Difficult Dialogues Program and the Austin Public Library.

Sponsored by: The Humanities Institute and the Austin Public Library

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