By: Daniel Nardini
The film “Miss Bala” is a powerful and truly realistic (and pretty violent and ugly) depiction of the current drug war in Mexico. The film begins with a 23 year old lady named Laura Guerrero (played beautifully by Stephanie Sigman) who wants to enter and win a beauty pageant. What happens is that Laura Guerrero gets caught up in the brutal and vicious drug war and becomes involved with a powerful drug lord. Her beautiful dream of being a beauty queen quickly spirals into a descent into hell as she is caught between the forces of drug war rivals and a brutal and corrupt military using every means to crush the drug lords even if it destroys the innocent. In this movie there are no winners and no real good guys, but plenty of victims.
This movie is all too real about the present day drug war conflict. The film makes it very clear that as long as there is corruption then the Mexican government’s drug war is futile. It is very clear that the real war should be against corruption and the brutality shown by both sides. Clearly Laura Guerrero is symbolic of Mexico’s people being caught in the middle between the drug cartels and the Mexican government’s policy against the cartels. I find the violence in the film very disturbing, but it is meant to be disturbing. This film does not attempt to glorify the drug cartels, and that is a departure from many other films. The film is a very serious look at Mexico today and how the drug war conflict impacts the people. “Miss Bala” was directed by Gerardo Naranja.