MEXICO CITY — A controversial film has audiences in Mexico filling theaters. The film offers a graphic look at a small town destroyed by drug traffickers.
The movie's main character, Benny, gets the bad news when he's deported to Mexico after living in the U.S. for 20 years and finds drug traffickers have taken over his home town. Some are childhood friends.
Before long, Benny is also lured into the drug trade in the movie titled "El Infierno," which translates to "Hell" in English.
Director Luis Estrada timed the release to coincide with Mexico's bicentennial celebration. Since its September premiere, "El Infierno" has been a box office hit.
"It's very realistic," said Georgina Avila, who saw the film at a Mexico city theater. "The movie graphically depicts drug war violence with dark humor."
Alberto Gonzalez said the movie shows how corruption permeates Mexico's power structure, church leaders, police, and politicians.
Ignacio Romero and his wife left the theater worried and anguished. "The drug violence we see on the news seems so distant, but it's really not," said Guillermina Zamora.
For now, the movie is only playing in select cities. In the coming weeks, "El Infierno" will open in Juarez and other border cities where the bloodshed on the big screen also plays out on streets.
The filmmakers said they do not yet have a U.S. release date.