El Sicario, Room 164



Based on Charles Bowden’s essay “The Sicario”, Rosi ventures into a project that initially seems to carry little cinematic potential. A hotel room on the border between Mexico and the United States, and a man with a black cloth over his head. These are the minimal ingredients of this film. But it is impossible to keep our eyes and ears off the screen, entirely because of the man whom Rosi is filming. He has worked for a Mexican drug cartel and talks about his career path from police officer to criminal. He talks about numerous murders and unimaginable atrocities. As he speaks, he draws simple sketches on a note pad, which visualise or simplify what he’s telling. Sometimes he even acts things out. A sober and fierce confrontation with shocking events and deeds. The man lives concealed in Ciudad Juarez, which was long considered the world’s most violent city. In the meantime, he has given up his life and hopes for divine forgiveness. His portrayal reveals a brutal and corrupt system, which Rosi reveals by simply listening. (ph)



France, USA 2010
80 Min. color. DCP. Sp/e

Director: Gianfranco Rosi

Script: Gianfranco Rosi (Charles Bowden)

Camera: Gianfranco Rosi

Editor: Jacopo Quadri


Gianfranco Rosi: The Seeker of Truth
Bildrausch 2019