Video: A Stunning New Documentary Captures “El Chapo” by Getting Deep Inside His Drug Cartel
“El Chapo” Guzman (aka Shorty), the head of the world’s most powerful drug cartel, was captured by the Mexican military last month after a decade on the run. (See our investigative story here.) The timing could not have been more propitious for British filmmaker Angus MacQueen and Peruvian journalist Guillermo Galdós, whose documentary, The Legend of Shorty, premiered at the South by Southwest (SXSW) festival this week to great—and somewhat incredulous—acclaim. The film accomplishes its own capture of El Chapo, not only as a ruthless gangster and brilliant CEO but as a Mexican folk hero, whose daredevil ascent took him from anonymous poverty to a perch from which he could push Mexican presidents around.
But what has earned the small independent film its big media buzz is the unprecedented access its two filmmakers earned. You get a front-row seat to the inner workings of an international drug cartel, from the processing and transporting of mountains of cocaine, heroin and marijuana to the boardroom meetings of its top-level management-murderers. The imperturbable pair even took El Chapo’s mother out to lunch. The only person who slipped through their net was the Mr. Big himself, but The Legend of Shorty shows why many Mexicans believe that the man paraded by the Mexican military in front of the media like a trophy in the drug wars was an imposter.
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