13 user 16 critic

Backyard (2009)

El Traspatio (original title)
The true story of the border town of Juarez, Mexico where since the mid-1990s thousands of women have gone missing or turned up as sun-burnt corpses in the desert. Can new police captain Blanca Bravo stop the savagery?




On Disc

at Amazon

9 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

State Affairs (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A plane explodes above the Gulf of Guinea. An escort girl is murdered in a Parisian park. Thousands of miles separate these two events, and yet Nora Chahyd, believes there's a connection ... See full summary »

Director: Eric Valette
Stars: Rachida Brakni, André Dussollier, Thierry Frémont
Red Dawn (1989)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A Claustrophobic experience which involves a Mexican middle class family into the atrocities made by wild and heartless army forces whose main objective seems to be students who do not permit the 1968's Olimpic games' to develop normally.

Director: Jorge Fons
Stars: Héctor Bonilla, María Rojo, Jorge Fegán
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Family honor, greed, machismo, homophobia, and the dreams of whores collide in a Mexican town. Rich, elderly Don Alejo is poised to sell the town for a profit, needing only to buy a ... See full summary »

Director: Arturo Ripstein
Stars: Roberto Cobo, Fernando Soler, Lucha Villa
Comedy | Crime | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

A taxidermist decides to murder his wife after having to put up with her after twenty years of hellish marriage.

Director: Rogelio A. González
Stars: Arturo de Córdova, Amparo Rivelles, Elda Peralta
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

The story of a disciplined and sexually driven man who keeps his family isolated in his home for years to protect them from the "evil nature" of human beings while inventing (with his wife)... See full summary »

Director: Arturo Ripstein
Stars: Claudio Brook, Rita Macedo, Arturo Beristáin
Satanás (2007)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Based on the Mario Mendoza's book and inspired by true events, tells three interconnected stories happening in the eve of the infamous Pozzetto Massacre.

Director: Andrés Baiz
Stars: Marcela Valencia, Blas Jaramillo, Lucia Rengifo
Macario (1960)
Drama | Fantasy | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

Poor, hungry peasant Macario longs for just one good meal on the Day of the Dead. After his wife cooks a turkey for him, he meets three apparitions, the Devil, God, and Death. Each asks him... See full summary »

Director: Roberto Gavaldón
Stars: Ignacio López Tarso, Pina Pellicer, Enrique Lucero
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A mechanic takes his family to a car race and a series of events occur which brings problems, betrayals, violence and the unexpected death of an elderly person.

Director: Luis Alcoriza
Stars: Manolo Fábregas, Lucha Villa, Héctor Suárez
The Backyard (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Lightbulbs, fire, barbed wire, mousetraps, staple guns, thumbtacks and glass are weapons of choice in The Backyard. This undercover documentary takes you deep into the controversial arena ... See full summary »

Director: Paul Hough
Stars: The Lizard, Scar, Chaos
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Khosrow and Morteza set out on a mission to kill someone. The assassination ought to be arranged as a suicide. At the last minute however, they are obliged to change their initial plans...

Director: Mohammad Rasoulof
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Atang leaves the slums of the big city to bury his estranged father in the remote, mountainous village where he was born. Befriended by an orphan herd-boy and stirred by memories of his ... See full summary »

Director: Andrew Mudge
Stars: Zenzo Ngqobe, Nozipho Nkelemba, Lebohang Ntsane
The Prey (2011)
Action | Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Bank-robber Franck Adrien is serving a prison sentence after robbing a national bank. Before he was caught he managed to hide the money but now it's not just the police who are looking for ... See full summary »

Director: Eric Valette
Stars: Albert Dupontel, Alice Taglioni, Stéphane Debac


Credited cast:
Asur Zagada ...
Juana Sanchez
Ivan Cortes ...
Mickey Santos
Carolina Politi ...
Amorita Rasgado ...
Enoc Leaño ...
Adriana Paz ...
Lisa Owen ...
El Sultán
Juan Carlos Barreto ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:


An astonishing fictional account of the unending series of murders of young women in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, which began in 1996. Most of the victims are low-paid laborers who have been drawn to the town by the possibility of work at American-owned factories. In the film Mexican police officer Blanca Bravo is sent to Cuidad Juarez to investigate and comes to learn realities of these women's lives, as well as the truth about a police force and local power structure embodied by entrepreneur Mickey Santos that has ceased to care. Written by Human Rights Watch Film Festival

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





| |

Release Date:

20 February 2009 (Mexico)  »

Also Known As:

Backyard  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


A newspaper from Torreón, México reported that the cast and crew were followed, and to some degree bullied, by people while shooting on location in Ciudad Juárez, México. They even reported the robbery of equipment. See more »


In the scenes located in Juarez Avenue, it can be seen "transborde" buses and a big led screen with publicity. Those were activated in late 2006. (The story occurs on 1996) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

A comment on another review, amongst other things
14 February 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

One reviewer wrote that this movie is set in the "small" Mexican town of Ciudad Juarez, bordering the United States. Actually, Ciudad Juarez has approximately 1.3 million residents. While not the size of New York City or Los Angeles by any means, "small" town is hardly an appropriate description. FYI, Ciudad Juarez is only separated from El Paso, TX and a short stretch of Sunland Park/Anapra, NM by a narrow river, the Rio Grande (or Rio Bravo, as it is commonly known on the Mexican side). If seen from overhead it looks like one city. Many parts of Juarez are modern, Westernized-metro areas with shopping centers, U.S. fast-food chains, and an international airport. Together, the El Paso-Ciudad Juarez metropolitan area is populated by approximately 2.5 million people.

However, from Interstate 10 on the West Side of El Paso which parallels the river, the differences between the cities are quite evident. A typical U.S. metropolitan infrastructure can be seen on this side of the river, while shanty towns made of pallets and corrugated metal roofs can be seen on the other side. The sight is profound, sad, and all too real. When one grows up in an environment like that, one tends to have a different perspective of the U.S. and what "first world" really means. Most U.S. citizens don't ever confront those issues first hand, on a regular basis. We Southern Border Folk are exposed, directly or indirectly to a poverty that is severe, harsh, and very different from what U.S. poverty is typically known to be.

That severe poverty crosses over into the more rural border regions of the U.S. which are classified by the U.S. government as "Colonias", which are areas of the U.S. without the typical U.S. infrastructure that most U.S. Citizens take for granted (like electricity, natural gas, or running water). When you live in these regions, raised in them, compassion to those dealing with and escaping from this poverty becomes a part of you. Physical and geographical distance from that reality makes the heart less compassionate and the brain less understanding. That's why i believe most of us U.S. citizens tend to think politically before thinking humanely when involving border issues. We're mainly exposed to the "third world" through television; not driving to work, or shopping for groceries, or going to school.

Now there is undoubtedly extreme poverty scattered throughout the United States. Many citizens of Native-American communities and reservations live far below the U.S. poverty level. Pockets of what can be considered "third world" poverty exist especially in various regions of the South and in Appalachia, for example. These are areas like the "Colonias" where infrastructure is not systematic, but self-sufficiently innovated and "out-of-code", "off-the-grid", and not in that cool, tech-savvy, environmentally-progressive way. The difference between those areas and the "Colonias", besides the general ethnic background of the people (the aforementioned areas tend to be primarily White-Americans {or Americans of European descent}, and African-Americans) is that the "Colonias" encompass a much larger and concentrated geographical area as well as a much larger population of impoverished citizens than those scattered throughout the rest of the U.S.

These "Colonias" which exist from Texas all the way to California, and whose populations all together make up a few million, are real. The vast majority are of Mexican descent, though of course there are also smaller percentages of White-Americans, African-Americans, and Central-Americans. Many are "illegal", though most are legal citizens born and raised in the United States. "Third world" poverty exists in these regions of the U.S., make no mistake. These people constantly strive to be self sufficient. They don't expect hand outs. They don't expect government programs to save them as the politicians often describe them. But they are stuck between survival and laws and codes. Sometimes laws and codes can prevent immediate survival. The corruption between the corporate and political partnerships between the U.S. and Mexico, the laws and codes regarding construction, and land ownership and/or distribution controls their access to clean drinking water and proper waste management. As these regions therefore have a population that makes little money, the public school systems that do manage to exist there suffer greatly and can't offer education that rivals the high earning and supposedly higher tax paying metropolitan areas of our country. These complex issues keep them from being able to sustain themselves, much less plan ahead and progress.

The Capital cities of Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California only throw pennies towards their Southern borders. The money stays near the Capitals, where the streets are paved and the schools have college prep courses and highly educated, and the highest paid teachers. It's hard not to view some of this oppression as systematic, as planned politics in order to keep a lack of "legal" control in a region in order to aid the criminal, corrupt entities to work in the shadows, with the citizens' eyes not focused on them because their eyes are fixed on the priority of daily survival. As these citizens continue to be ignored, their voices dismissed and their plight for survival repressed, the Southern border of the U.S. will continue to crumble, through an oppression that breeds desperation that will only feed social unrest and revolution. This corruption between the two governments creates a void of leadership which is then filled by the black market; by criminal entities that create for themselves an alternative to the severe poverty of the region. Those entities become wealthy, which then become exploitative, threatening, violent, and powerful. But the key word is wealthy, the alternative to poverty, which becomes tempting to those who are most desperate. As the two governments shake hands and exchange "legal" treaties, contracts, and money, they ostracize their constituencies, they're citizens, leaving them exposed to the "illegal" elements which are only to happy to embrace them.


14 of 18 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Se ve como cualquier otra pelicula que se ha hecho sobre Juarez bringonthelucie
excellent film shamik_ghosh-1
La historia real. 10 preguntas y respuestas. Garabombo_mx
Good plot, good story, decent movie alankj151
Discuss Backyard (2009) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: