Aug 23, 2014 2:00 PM by Paul Cicala
Nearly 200 Tucson-area residents turned out to the premiere of the highly-anticipated documentary about the notorious drug lord, Chapo Guzman.
"Es El Chapo?" or, "Is It Chapo?", as translated in English, made it's world debut in Tucson on the 6th-month-anniversary of the arrest of the Sinaloa drug lord who was once seen as all-but-invincible.
The Charlie Minn film made it's debut at Harkins Spectrum 19 Theatres in Tucson this Friday on I-19 & Irvington, and will be showing for at least a week. It's the first in-depth look on the big-screen on Chapo Guzman's arrest.
Minn says it's no surprise the turnout was so high, especially considering the high numbers of Mexican nationals & others in Tucson who've been affected by the drug trade in one way or another. In addition, Chapo Guzman has had ties in Southern Arizona for four decades, making this film even more personal for many Pima County residents.
It's is the fourth documentary that film-maker Charlie Minn has directed south of the border.
"I am relentless," says Minn, who splits time between New York City & El Paso, TX, "I keep coming. Nothing will hold me back."
Like his trilogy on the Juarez drug wars, "Es El Chapo" digs deeper into risky topics dealing with Mexico's drug trade & the demand by Americans to consume the drugs.
"Es El Chapo?" explores whether or not Sinaloa's Chapo Guzman, was really captured in Mazatlan in February. It's a topic that's highly debated by many here in Southern Arizona & all throughout Mexico.
In order to film much of the movie, Charlie Minn travelled deep into Sinaloa Drug cartel territory, and Chapo Guzman's hometown in Mexico to get answers.
"This was a very risky drive up to (Chapo Guzman's) hometown of La Tuna because apparently every car that goes up to his home village in the mountains is watched and detected," said Charlie Minn during a sit-down interview with KVOA News 4's Lupita Murillo, "And if anyone believes there is an ominous situation, they'll just shoot the car from what I hear. We were lucky to get out of there alive."
And, now, Minn is bringing the story to theatres all throughout the border southwest. The documentary will make its world debut this Friday, August 22nd in Tucson at the Harkins Spectrum 18, on I-19 & Irvington. It will also be showing in Nogales, Arizona at the Oasis Cinema 9 on August 29th. "Es El Chapo?" can also be seen in Tempe, Arizona at the Harkins Valley Art Theatres.
For more information on the film, you can go to www.eselchapo.com
Charlie Minn has directed more than a dozen documentaries, including three highly-acclaimed movies on the drug war in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. KVOA News 4 Tucson's very own Paul Cicala, who's spent much of his career as a news reporter, appears in two of those documentaries on Juarez. The Charlie Minn films include video which includes Paul Cicala reporting at murder scenes in Mexico. The Juarez documentaries, also include reports from Cicala on the drug violence in Medellin, Colombia and its transformation to a much safer city.
As a whole, when it comes to films, Minn's main focus is true-crime. "There are too many cowards out there destroying lives of innocent people. These people need to be bought down immediately."
His first documentary, "A Nightmare in Las Cruces" was sold to Lions Gate in 2011. www.bowlingmassacre.com
Minn then, as mentioned, made a trilogy about the drug-related violence in Juarez, Mexico.
"Over 12,000 people have been slaughtered in Juarez since 2008," says Minn, "This is one of the saddest stories in the world today people are not talking about." www.8murdersaday.com www.murdercapitalfilm.com www.thenewjuarez.com
He has also tackled an FBI top ten case "Where is Robert Fisher?" www.whereisfisher.com
As a former television sportscaster and news reporter, Minn has worked in New Orleans, Albuquerque, Fresno, Cleveland, Portland, Providence, Hartford and New York.
Minn's other projects include the Long Island Railroad Massacre:20 years later www.lirrmassacre.com and The Perfect Turnover: The Mitchell Marcus story
SHOWTIMES FOR "ES EL CHAPO?" AT HARKINS SPECTRUM 18, WHICH BEGAN FRIDAY:
11:35 a.m, 1:45 p.m., 3:55 p.m., 6:05 p.m., 8:15 p.m., & 10:25 p.m. The movie will air at least a week in Tucson.