In "Blood on the Wall," two documentary directors offer a deeper look at the migrants who have made their way from various parts of Central America to the Mexico and U.S. border.
Academy Award-nominated director Sebastian Junger and Emmy-winning producer Nick Quested also examine how corruption in Mexico and other Central American countries has fueled the problem.
"I don't think you can separate the politics of narcotics and corruption and the institutionalized corruption of Mexico from the issues of migration, and not just Mexico. Of El Salvador, of Honduras and Guatemala and their presidents who have all been proven to have, you know, very dubious business arrangements and family members," explained Quested from his home in New York.
The film takes audiences along on the journey of a 17-year-old girl with no home and no family who joins the migrant caravan from Honduras seeking a better life.
"I want people to put that in context with people who've decided to leave their homes in America now. Whether they're climate migrants from California to Oregon, or they're pandemic migrants from the Upper West Side of New York or downtown New York or Chicago or D.C. or any of the urban areas, I want people to understand why they made those choices and who they are and at that point, maybe we can stop vilifying people of color, minorities for political gain," Quested said.
The film also shadows farm workers who grow illegal drugs in Mexico, the meth lab where they finish making the drugs and also follows cartel members.
Gaining trust of the cartel members was key.
"I didn't report about their business," explained Quested. "I was more interested in their psychology and their motivations and trying to discuss the choices they've made and what they do rather than their business. Their business was of no interest to me. I'm not interested whether they've corrupted a particular politician or who is responsible for the murder. I'm talking about why people made their choices."
The documentary premieres on National Geographic.