In late 2006, the then president of Mexico, Felipe Calderón, declared war on drug traffickers. This decision, far from reducing the problems of violence, has left thousands of people murdered and missing. Since then, many Mexican mothers have been looking for their missing children in this terrible “narco-war”. The journalist Alicia Calderón was looking for a new way that moved away from traditional journalism to tell these stories, and that’s how Retratos de una búsqueda emerged, where the stories de Margarita, Guadalupe and the Nativity intertwine to explain the various ways of carrying out the search and confronting uncertainty.This is a film against forgetfulness and indifference, a portrait of contemporary Mexico and one of its most painful pages: a war about which we do not know almost everything.
The writer Lolita Bosch explains it this way in Voces Contra la Barbarie: “…former president Felipe Calderón publicly declared war on drug trafficking and put this word at the center of national consciousness. His decision was not carefully thought out nor was it part of a sensible or absolutely honest strategy. Mexican citizenship was caught between what Marcela Turati called a crossfire. Seven years later, the number of murdered, disappeared, extorted, mutilated, threatened, displaced and victims of crimes of varying severity in Mexico is equivalent to war figures. The state of the population’s lack of protection, the threat against the press, the minimal guarantees that victims seeking justice do not enjoy, media censorship and fear do nothing but deepen this vision of the country. And the degree of cruelty that we have witnessed was unimaginable for all of us just seven years ago, before the war. Mexico is now a different country.”
In the presentation and subsequent discussion, we had the director, Alicia Calderón, and the co-writer of the documentary, the Mexican writer and journalist José Miguel Tomasena.

Data sheet

Title: Portraits of a search
Screenplay: Alicia Calderón and José Miguel Tomasena
Director: Alicia Calderón
Production: Karla Uribe
Director of photography: Dalia Huerta
Edition: Juan Manuel and Sofia Gómez
Original music: Mario Osuna
Year: 2014
Duration: 75′