×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Reportero

A solidly constructed, well-shot docu about the lethal perils of truth-telling south of the border.

With:
With: Sergio Haro, Adela Navarro, Rene Blanco, Jesus Blancornelas, Richard Marosi. (Spanish, English dialogue)

A solidly constructed, well-shot docu about the lethal perils of truth-telling south of the border, “Reportero” focuses on a single journalist, Sergio Haro, and his crusading Tijuana newsweekly, Zeta. Helmer Bernardo Ruiz effortlessly shuttles between the individual reporter and collectivist paper, which supplies a supportive if beleaguered bulwark against the violence and corruption engulfing Mexico. With his weathered face, unshakable dedication and understated commentary, Haro makes a worthy protagonist, giving Ruiz’s docu a strong throughline, while the murders of numerous Zeta reporters up the dramatic impact. Limited theatrical play, prior to the pic’s skedded airing on PBS, appears possible.

Reporting reps a dangerous profession down Mexico way, claiming the lives of numerous journalists. While most papers censor themselves, refusing to cover potentially explosive stories on narco trafficking or political collusion, Zeta publishes names and photos of those responsible. As a result, the paper’s founder, Jesus Blancornelas, was ambushed by 10 gunmen, narrowly escaping death when shrapnel from a bullet entered the eye of the main hitman, killing him instantly. As illustrated by news footage, two other popular Zeta staffers proved less lucky, gunned down in broad daylight by those they exposed. Haro drives by the assassination sites of his colleagues, none of whose killers were ever brought to justice.

Ruiz often films Haro behind the wheel of his car, musing in voiceover as he drives to research a story about poor people living off a garbage dump or wends his way to snap photos of young Mexicans being targeted by drug cartels. Haro’s passion for social justice leads him to fight for in-depth articles that never sell as well as more sensational, less analytical blood-and-guts crime stories.

In contrast to Haro and his wide-ranging field operations, Adela Navarro, who basically runs the paper, is always filmed within the confines of the newsroom, explaining the history of Zeta, discussing policy or handing out assignments. Her single-minded dedication to the cause of investigative reporting is equal to Haro’s.

More than anything else, “Reportero” is a film about process. The camera follows in detail the rigors of printing, transporting, distributing and selling the paper; it traces the inception, research and writing of Haro’s articles just as it follows his wife’s methodical dinner preparations. Similarly, the camera sits in on the process of decision making at the paper, the exchange of ideas and the shaping of future issues, all set against the murderous violence that intrudes via news clips and gruesome photographs.

Against this backdrop, where chaos and impunity reign, even the most flagrant crimes bring no redress, and the price of pursuing truth may be death, the deliberate, organized work of Zeta journos assumes particular significance.

Reportero

Mexico-U.S.

Production: A Gardens of Paradise, ITVS production. Produced by Bernardo Ruiz. Co-producer, Patricia Benabe. Directed, written by Bernardo Ruiz.

Crew: Camera (color, HD), Claduio Rocha; editor, Carla Gutierrez; music, Leo Abrahams; sound, Jose Longas; sound designer, Ruy Garcia. Reviewed on DVD, New York, June 20, 2012. (In Los Angeles, Human Rights Watch film festivals.) Running time: 71 MIN.

With: With: Sergio Haro, Adela Navarro, Rene Blanco, Jesus Blancornelas, Richard Marosi. (Spanish, English dialogue)

More Film

  • Matt Smith, Thomasin McKenzie Circle Edgar

    Matt Smith, 'Leave No Trace' Star Thomasin Harcourt McKenzie Circle Edgar Wright Movie

    Matt Smith and “Leave No Trace” star Thomasin Harcourt McKenzie are in negotiations to join Edgar Wright’s next film, “Last Night in Soho,” sources tell Variety. Details are vague about the psychological horror movie, other than it being set in London’s Soho district. Anya Taylor Joy is also in the cast. Production is expected to [...]

  • Vice Media

    Vice Media Taps Joe Simon as Chief Technology Officer (EXCLUSIVE)

    Joe Simon has been tapped as chief technology officer at Vice Media. The newly created role will include oversight of data analytics, engineering, information technology, media operations, media technology, post production, and systems management. Prior to Vice, Simon spent three years as Encompass Digital Media’s chief operating officer. Previously he held the chief technology officer [...]

  • Michael B Jordan denzel washington

    Michael B. Jordan to Star in Denzel Washington's 'Journal for Jordan'

    Michael B. Jordan is in talks to star in Sony’s “Journal for Jordan,” a drama that will be directed by Denzel Washington. The movie, penned by Oscar-nominated screenwriter Virgil Williams, is based on the true story of Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Dana Canedy’s love affair with First Sergeant Charles Monroe King. King kept a journal [...]

  • Sylvester Stallone

    Sylvester Stallone's Superhero Drama 'Samaritan' Lands at MGM

    MGM is developing the superhero drama “Samaritan” with Sylvester Stallone attached to star and produce through his Balboa Productions. The studio has acquired Bragi F. Schut’s script, which centers on a boy learning that a missing superhero, who vanished 20 years earlier after a battle, may still be alive. MGM will develop “Samaritan” with Stallone [...]

  • Kendrick Lamar

    Oscars: Kendrick Lamar and SZA Will Not Perform 'Black Panther' Song (EXCLUSIVE)

    Despite the Academy’s efforts to secure Kendrick Lamar and SZA for a performance of the Oscar-nominated song “All the Stars” from “Black Panther” on the upcoming Oscars telecast, the duo will not be a part of the show, Variety has learned. The reason, according to a source close to the situation, is logistics and timing. [...]

  • Oscars Spa Treatments

    Area Spas Offer Red Carpet Treatments in Time for Oscars

    From a shopping session with a celebrity stylist to a covert airport pickup, these hotels and spas are offering even more curated packages for the ultimate VIP Oscar experience. For the Jetsetter Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills’ Doheny Suite Experience package allows travelers to evade the paparazzi with an underground or curbside [...]

  • Rocketman

    See Taron Egerton Transform Into Elton John in New ‘Rocketman’ Trailer

    A new trailer for “Rocketman,” the Elton John “fantasy musical” in theaters May 31, was released today. As the singer, actor Taron Egerton (“Eddie the Eagle”) performs “Tiny Dancer” and is seen honing his talent at home, rising to fame and grappling with the pitfalls that superstardom can bring. The film also stars Jamie Bell (as John’s [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content