At 23, Laura Guerro and her friend Suzu enter the Miss Baja pageant. Both qualify, and while Laura waits at a nightclub for Suzu to break away so they can go shopping, a heavily-armed drug gang murders drug enforcement officials there. Laura escapes unharmed but can't find Suzu, so the next day she looks for her; her dogged behavior brings her to the cartel's attention, and they force her to assist them as they menace her father and younger brother. Lino, the gang's leader, decides Laura should finish the pageant although her only interest is escape. Every day drags her deeper and corruption is pervasive. What alternative is there to death or prison?Written by
The story of a young woman (Stephanie Sigman) clinging on to her dream to become a beauty contest queen in a Mexico dominated by organized crime.
Living in Wisconsin, I know precious little about the Mexican border. But I have written articles on foreign policy and how America's decisions have affected the gangs of Mexico. This film showcases some of that, focusing on the darkest possible angle.
Actress Stephanie Sigman is incredible, having to be a very visual actress in this film: we see her silently cringing or running from gunfire more than she speaks. But I think that this may be harder than just delivering dialogue: her character is kidnapped by gangsters, forced to commit criminal acts, constantly being faced with the possibility of death.
While the gangsters here are ruthless, and rightfully so, there was a political point being made that did not escape me: the presence of DEA agents in Mexico. Whether or not you support the war on drugs, there is good reason to question how American police can patrol the streets of Mexico. Do Mexican federales drive around El Paso? I think not. Their presence does not justify the violence from the gangs, but it does raise the question of why a foreign power is facing a domestic problem.
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