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A still from “Prayers for the Stolen (Noche de fuego,)” which was adapted from the book “Ladydi” and produced by the team who also worked on “Roma.” Photo: Pimienta Films/The Match Factory.

New movies and series seek to refocus the story of cartel violence on those affected — after years of shows that spotlight narcos — and do not shy from showing the government’s (or even the DEA's) part in atrocities.

Driving the news: Two recent movies just won awards at Cannes.

  • Prayers for the Stolen is centered on the lives of Mexican girls while cartels and soldiers hover just beyond the frame.
  • La Civil is based on the true story of a mother who searched for her kidnapped daughter when the authorities would not.
  • The upcoming film Identifying features, which won an audience award and a special jury award at Sundance, similarly follows a mother, in this case searching for her missing son. It’s been lauded by critics for having “the power to expand our notions of what a border story is.”
  • The Netflix series Somos. centers the story of a real life massacre — for years unreported — on how people who were among the 300 killed lived their last days.

What they’re saying: “Telling these stories can jostle us, make us reflect again on the problem to which we’ve become increasingly inured,” says Tatiana Huezo, director of Prayers for the Stolen. “Narcoviolence is the monster that lurks, but we cannot let us forget the women and girls who face it everyday.”

Between the lines: These projects premiered while the harrowing off-screen violence continues.

  • In Tamaulipas state, a killing field was recently discovered near the border with Brownsville, Texas, holding thousands of pounds of unidentified remains.

There are growing reports of forced disappearances of people who were just traveling between Monterrey and Nuevo Laredo, two big cities in northern Mexico.

Go deeper

Updated 8 mins ago - Economy & Business

Tax season nightmare ahead for understaffed IRS

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

The IRS will start accepting 2021 tax returns in less than a week, and the filing delays and administrative headaches to come might eclipse last year — which was “one of the worst filing seasons," according to an independent advocacy agency within the IRS.

Why it matters: For taxpayers, especially with complex or paper filings, this means headaches, delayed refunds, and mistakes.

China builds its own movie empire

Expand chart
Data: Gower Street citing Comscore; Chart: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

China blocked all four of Disney's Marvel movies from being released in its theaters last year, a grim sign for U.S. film giants being squeezed out of the world's fastest-growing box office.

Why it matters: The Chinese Communist Party is using domestic films as a key conduit for mass messaging aimed at achieving political goals, leaving little room for foreign views.

Why 401(k) rollovers are so annoying

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

If you happened to change jobs recently, you may have tried to transfer your retirement account from your former employer into an Individual Retirement Account or your new employer's 401(k) plan. If so, you probably encountered a bureaucratic gantlet — and you're not alone.

Why it matters: Kludgey processes around retirement account transfers result in people losing track of their funds, giving up important tax advantages, or otherwise disadvantaging themselves and being less prepared for retirement.

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