Bill Ross IV & Turner Ross' Western is the latest documentary from the acclaimed filmmakers, which sets its sights on the border town of Eagle Pass, Texas. For generations, all that has separated Eagle Rock, Texas from Piedras Negas, Mexico is the Rio Grande, which has led to a shared culture between the sister cities, where both Americans and Mexican citizens have essentially congealed. Times are changing though, with Drug Cartels and Immigration policies in Washington D.C., which essentially threaten the harmony of these border towns. Much like the Ross Brothers' other documentaries, Western is a film very much in the hands-off, observation style, delivering a poignant example of the power of Cinéma vérité, where reality is much more interesting than fiction. Focusing primarily on two characters - the Mayor of Eagle Pass and a Cattle Rancher who raises cattle in Mexico before importing it into the states, Western captures the essence of the changing of times. Through this observational study of these characters Western is able to reveals the absurdity of borders, stripping away these government mandates and revealing how we are all just people, defined by our propensity for connection not detachment. The Drug Cartel murders are an ominous presence hanging over the two harmonious border towns, and one of Western's greatest attributes is the tension it creates in the back-half of the film, as the various citizens of the town begin to feel the pressures from the outside forcing change on their community. While the Mayor of Eagle Pass takes issues with the US government's potential mandates, the Cattle Rancher finds the very foundation of his way of life threatened by decisions being made a thousand miles away in Washington D.C., with Western managing to bring a unique perspective to federal government. Simple, efficient, and poignant in moments of observation, Bill Ross IV & Turner Ross' Western is another fascinating exploration of humanity, culture, and setting, being a film that fans of Cinéma Vérité should seek out.
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