Angels at War

A Documentary of Courage

About the Film

Ciudad Juarez

Juarez, Mexico has been known as the murder capitol of the world for the last several years. During that time sources estimated that a violent murder occurred every 30 minutes in Juarez every single dayAt the beginning of this year the mayor was forced to evacuate 2,500 police officers from their homes and put them up in hotels under 24-hour police protection. This was prompted by the drug cartels threat to murder one police office every day demanding the new police chief to resign. A threat they carried out as promised for nearly a week until the officers were removed.

In an environment like this children typically have few choices. Most only have the option to live in fear, waiting for their turn to be slaughtered. But the children of a small church down a dirt road have chosen another path. A remarkable one. They have chosen to fight these murderers–not with more guns or more blood–but with messages of peace…and cardboard wings.

Angels in Mexico

These children have come together with nothing, but strength and courage in their hearts. And a belief; a faith that things can be better. That they can make a difference in their community. They don’t have much, so they convinced city officials to donate old curtains to become their robes. And they collected cardboard, plastic and feathers (often from garbage bins) to create their wings. They cover themselves in oil based paint which takes three days to be removed completely from their skin and hair. They then stand on folded chairs (to add height) and hold signs aimed at the criminals and corrupt police officers. They can be seen at crime scenes and heavy intersections, outside of prosecutor’s offices and police stations. And they stand there in silence for hours. Children with the fortitude to stand in one spot, motionless for hours, solely because they want more for their community; more for their people.

The Project

A documentary, delving into the lives of these Angels. What makes them tick? Part of which will be following them at the end of January to a city 10 hours south that is once again riddled with violence. There they will bring their message even further than their community. With a crew of four I will be documenting their courage.

A little snippet about the crew:

Katie Orlinsky: Cinematographer. Critically acclaimed photojournalist. (www.katieorlinsky.com)

Joey Daoud: Co-Producer and 2nd Shooter. Documentary filmmaker and photographer. Creator of Coffee and Celluloid Productions. @C47 (www.cc-prod.com)

Dylan Correll: Renowned New York based editor. Most recently known for editing feature film, “Not Waving, But Drowning.”

John Ross: Composer. Professional musician and composer. Creator of well known bands such as Gettysburg and most recently, the Challengers. (www.challengersforever.com)

Jessica LaRusso: (myself)Director and Producer. Filmmaker. Co-creator of Venture Machine Productions. @justncases

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/10/world/americas/angels-in-ciudad-juarez-try-to-reduce-violence.html?_r=0
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/10/world/americas/angels-in-ciudad-juarez-try-to-reduce-violence.html?_r=0

Last January while researching Mexico for another project I stumbled upon Katie’s image above. When I opened the NY Times article, it changed my life. For a year that picture was the background of my computer desktop and their story stayed in the back of my mind. Nearly one year later, I decided to do something about it.