The Missing 43: Mexico's Disappeared Students

2014 ,    »  -   9 Comments
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Ratings: 9.01/10 from 188 users.
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The Missing 43: Mexico's Disappeared Students

What happened to the 43 students who went missing in Southern Mexico in September of this year? The Vice News produced documentary examines the mass disappearance of the young men who were all training to teach the youth of their country, as well as the tragedy and controversy surrounding their disappearance. As sure as the news coverage, people's movements, and conspiracy theories have caused many questions to continue to be asked about the case throughout Mexico and abroad, you'll have many questions of your own once you reach the end of this documentary.

The Missing 43 is shot in a news footage style and without any attempt at sensationalism; the documentary captures raw and shocking imagery, or at least imagery that would have shocked audiences across America before we were, as a whole, less desensitized than we are in modern times. Still, staggering figures like the 90% of uninvestigated crimes that occur in Mexico stare you in the face in the form of real people living the story you'll be immediately captivated by.

Seeing real names and faces attached to news stories that feel more like stories than news in the scope of the media is perhaps more startling than even the most macabre of findings throughout the documentary. The Missing 43 never fails to make the presence of its subjects felt. The people wo loved them, the people who conspiracy theories tell us had the worst intentions for them, and the spaces they once occupied all serve as effective symbolism.

Outright displays of what the documentary's narrator and host, refers to as "narco-political violence" unfolds almost immediately, and expectedly. However, if you're thinking you know what this is all about think again. Mexico's secrets go far beyond the 43 missing students and seem to spill out with the slightest bit of effort put into a search; even when that search is for something else altogether.

As the credits roll up the screen audiences are given the chance to look into the faces of each missing student, and in a way the students are given the chance to look back.

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9 Comments / User Reviews

  1. oQ

    Very interesting doc for me as i am spending part of the winter in the Guerrero state of Mexico. I have heard all kinds of stories about this situation but watching the doc made things a bit more clear.
    It is far from over.

  2. Airvaulting for Girls

    Yeah, that's right. "Serious political upheaval" could break out there pretty easily, from what I've heard. Lots of people are really angry. Stay wary.

  3. Kieran

    A brilliant documentary. Very well narrated. I could take my eyes off it. It explained a story I've been listening to for weeks but never fully understood until this documentary explained all.

  4. oQ

    Small businesses are given a compensation of up to 20,000pesos in all area of Guerrero except the area where this happened. (at least that's how it was explained to me. People in Zihua think it's because the government is trying to shut every one with cookies.

  5. Peter

    I'd be nervous about going to Mexico. It wasn't too long ago that 62 villagers were found murdered, linked together with ropes tied from one person to the next. Not a means to stop them escaping, just a means of keeping them together while being taken to the slaughter site. Add a heavily bribed police and judicial system and what justice will ever be seen? I feel worst for those living in fear, and for the men and women in police and government who are really trying to make a difference.

  6. Adman

    Murdering political students, that is one way to inspire a revolution. Whether or not the people would stand a chance vs both the military and the narcos though... This is one of the most concerning and depressing documentaries I have witnessed, and the story itself seems to be lost within a myriad of violent crimes and state corruption in the area, which just makes it more concerning.

    I really hope the community inspired, non violent, grass roots campaigns have a real effect beyond cleaning up after the narcos and the military, but it does seem like all they can do.

    As horrify and depressing as it is, this documentary has to be seen, the killings of those students (nor any victims) cannot be ignored.

  7. Lisa

    i notice there are no female students. So, in addition to being repressed culturally, this is a male dominated issue.

  8. Erika

    It's very unfortunate when student protests turn violent, which usually occurs at their own indiscretion! At first they have good reason to protest, but THEN they turn it into a riot! They burn buildings, start looting, breaking stuff...it just UN-does everything they set out to accomplish.

  9. Lul

    This is so sad... Everywhere I keep hearing that we have the government we deserve, but I really don't think anybody deserves this.
    Blessings for the 43 students and their families...

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