Julian Assange’s second film as producer is a doc about El Salvador.
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s second film as producer is a cross-media documentary about El Salvador’s gang violence.
The Engineer, produced by Guerilla Pictures in partnership with WikiLeaks (which partially funded via Sunshine Press Productions), looks at El Salvador’s brutal gang conflicts through the eyes of a man whose life revolves around murder.
Directors are Juan Passarelli and Mathew Charles.
The film will be available as a feature, a website and an app. The digital versions are multimedia and interactive, with a non-linear narrative structure introducing new characters.
Assange, who also recently produced documentary Mediastan, said: “Few realize how devastating the influence of US criminal gangs has become throughout Central America.
“Two rival gangs originating in California - MS13 and 18 Street - kill thousands every year in El Salvador alone. This is the real globalized economy - cheap cocaine for Hollywood noses and mounds of corpses in San Salvador’s nameless graves.
“In El Salvador the authorities are playing a double game - claiming credit for the peace process between the two gangs, but happy to ignore the recent epidemic of disappearances.
“The Engineer is a window into this international underground as seen through the work of one man: El Salvador’s real-life CSI detective, the brilliant and unorthodox state pathologist, Israel Ticas. This is the story of his grisly mission to unearth the truth buried beneath El Salvador.”
Co-director Passarelli said: “In a country with so little resources and where people are overworked and underpaid, the Engineer is the only man who seems to care. He’s the only real hope for the families of the disappeared. He’s a one man battalion that aims to find every single missing person in a country where thousands and thousands go missing every year.”
Co-director Charles, a former BBC reporter, added: “This is a graphic portrayal and some people will be shocked, but this is the reality of what is happening in El Salvador. This is the level of violence that people live with on a daily basis in this part of the world.”
Ann Luce, digital producer said: “Documentaries tend to leave a lot of good material on the cutting room floor, and we couldn’t let that happen with this story. Too many lives were at stake, too many stories needed to be told.
“Our digital versions, for both the web and the iPad go beyond the documentary. They take you behind the scenes, into the lives of the people who have lost loved ones, who are still searching. Our digital versions tell their stories, in their words.”