On the Edge: The Femicide in Ciudad Juarez Steev Hise

In the Mexican border town of Ciudad Juarez, more than 400 poor, young women have been kidnapped, raped and murdered. On the Edge is the story of the forces that made their city into a Mad Max nightmare of poverty, violence and exploitation, and how these forces contributed to the brutal crimes that continue without any official acknowledgement. Director Steev Hise chooses not to treat his film as a criminal investigation, preferring instead to show how forces in Mexico and beyond have created a world where the poor, especially poor women, are devalued and victimised. There is of course, the spectre of NAFTA, which shredded the national agricultural economy and sent the now-destitute farmers into the drug crop or swarming to the border in the hopes of undocumented work in the U.S.; the war on drugs, which encourages a shadow economy of sociopathic brutality that finds a transmission point in the nerve centre of Juarez/El Paso; and the exploitation of a female workforce, which is less likely to form unions or resist and curries resentment amongst men who now can’t find work. Throw some government corruption into the mix and you have a recipe for the devaluation of women by parties unknown that almost certainly have connections with a city and state government that’s not interested in the escalating slaughter. Though the film is a tad clumsy in the beginning and blasts you with a barrage of sound bites, there’s no denying the shock of seeing what one expert calls "the city of the future”: the end result of corporate and government malfeasance eroding rights into non-existence. Extras include a director’s bio and four deleted/extended scenes. (Illegal Art)