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15 Best Documentaries About Mexico To Watch

These documentaries about Mexico show a vibrant and diverse country with a rich tapestry of culture, history, and natural beauty and cover a range of topics.

Each documentary provides a unique lens through which to understand the complexities and richness of Mexico’s history and contemporary issues.

Documentaries About Mexico

From the bustling streets of Mexico City to the ancient ruins of Teotihuacan, and the colourful traditions of its indigenous communities, documentaries offer a captivating journey into the heart of this dynamic nation.

Of course, there are many documentaries about Mexico to watch but these are 15 of the best that will give you a good overall insight into many different topics.

Wonders of Mexico (2018)

Wonders of Mexico is a documentary series that explores the diverse landscapes, ecosystems, and cultural heritage of Mexico. The series is hosted by Mexican actor and naturalist, Arturo Islas Allende.

Across its episodes, “Wonders of Mexico” takes you on a journey through various regions of Mexico, showcasing its natural wonders, wildlife, archaeological sites, and vibrant culture.

The episodes cover a wide range of topics, including the deserts of Baja California, the ancient Mayan ruins of the Yucatan Peninsula, the diverse marine life in the Sea of Cortez, and the annual monarch butterfly migration in Michoacán.

The series has stunning cinematography, an in-depth exploration of the country’s natural and cultural wonders, and an engaging narration by Arturo Islas Allende.

It gives a visually captivating and informative look at the beauty and complexity of Mexico’s landscapes and the interconnectedness of its natural and cultural heritage. This is one of the best documentaries about Mexico to watch for nature.

Watch all 3 episodes on Amazon:

Preview trailer:

Agave: The Spirit of a Nation (2018)

Agave: The Spirit of a Nation” is a documentary film that delves into the cultural, historical, and economic significance of agave and its transformation into Mexico’s famous spirit, mezcal.

The documentary explores the traditions and craftsmanship involved in producing mezcal, highlighting the stories of several mezcaleros (mezcal producers) in different regions of Mexico. It showcases the agave plant’s importance in Mexican culture, its cultivation, the harvesting process, and the intricate techniques used to create mezcal.

“Agave: The Spirit of a Nation” also examines the impact of mezcal’s increasing popularity on the industry, exploring the balance between preserving traditional methods and meeting the demands of a global market. It sheds light on the struggles faced by small-scale mezcal producers and the challenges of maintaining the authenticity and integrity of the craft.

The film serves as both a celebration of Mexican heritage and a reflection on the intersection of tradition, craftsmanship, and modernity in the production of this iconic spirit.

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Cartel Land (2015)

Cartel Land explores the complex and dangerous world of drug cartels operating along the U.S.-Mexico border. The director gained unprecedented access to both vigilante groups and paramilitary organizations fighting against the cartels, providing an intense and immersive look into the ongoing drug war.

The documentary primarily focuses on two main characters: Dr. José Mireles, a small-town physician who leads a citizen uprising against the Knights Templar drug cartel in the state of Michoacán, Mexico, and Tim “Nailer” Foley, the leader of an Arizona Border Recon group composed of American vigilantes patrolling the U.S.-Mexico border to prevent drug trafficking.

“Cartel Land” highlights the complexities and moral ambiguities surrounding the efforts of those who take the law into their own hands to combat the drug cartels. It explores issues such as corruption, violence, and the blurred lines between justice and vigilantism.

It was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature in 2016 and is the best of these documentaries about Mexico to watch that explores the drug war.

Watch on Amazon:


Gimme The Power (2012)

Gimme the Power is a Mexican documentary that explores the social and political context of Mexico through the lens of rock music, focusing particularly on the impact of the rock band Molotov.

Molotov is known for its politically charged lyrics and often controversial themes. “Gimme the Power” uses Molotov’s music and the band’s experiences as a backdrop to examine the political and social issues facing Mexico.

The documentary addresses topics such as corruption, inequality, and social unrest, providing a critical commentary on the state of the country.

The film also delves into the history of Mexican rock and its evolution as a form of cultural expression and resistance. It incorporates interviews with musicians, activists, and other figures to provide a multifaceted perspective on the relationship between music, politics, and society in Mexico.

Watch on Amazon:


Taco Chronicles (2019-)

Taco Chronicles is a Mexican docuseries that explores the history, culture, and variety of tacos in Mexico. Each episode focuses on a specific type of taco, delving into its origins, traditional preparation methods, and cultural significance.

The series covers a wide range of tacos, from well-known street food classics like al pastor and carnitas to regional specialities such as barbacoa, canasta, and guisado. Each episode features interviews with taco experts, street vendors, chefs, and food historians, providing insights into the rich tapestry of Mexican cuisine.

“Taco Chronicles” not only celebrates the deliciousness of tacos but also serves as a cultural exploration of Mexican culinary traditions. The series has engaging storytelling, beautiful cinematography, and an ability to showcase the diversity of flavours and techniques associated with one of Mexico’s most beloved foods.

If you love Mexican food, in this case tacos specifically, then this is easily one of the best documentaries about Mexico for you to watch.


Made in Mexico (Hecho En Mexico) (2012)

Made in Mexico explores various aspects of Mexican culture, including music, art, politics, and daily life. It features interviews with a diverse range of individuals, including musicians, artists, activists, and ordinary people, providing insights into the rich and complex tapestry of Mexican society.

The documentary aims to challenge stereotypes and showcase the diversity and vibrancy of Mexico. It delves into the country’s history, traditions, and the challenges it faces, offering a nuanced and multifaceted portrayal.

The film is a celebration of Mexican identity and an exploration of the factors that shape the nation’s cultural landscape.

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Lucha Mexico (2015)

Lucha Mexico looks into the world of professional wrestling in Mexico, particularly focusing on the popular and unique style of wrestling known as lucha libre.

Lucha libre is a form of professional wrestling that originated in Mexico, characterized by colourful masks, high-flying acrobatics, and a distinct emphasis on the theatrical and dramatic aspects of the sport.

“Lucha Mexico” provides a behind-the-scenes look at the lives of several luchadores (wrestlers), shedding light on their personal struggles, dedication to their craft, and the cultural significance of lucha libre in Mexican society.

The documentary features interviews with prominent luchadores, such as Shocker, Blue Demon Jr., Jon Strongman, and others, offering insights into their careers, the physical toll of the sport, and the relationships between the performers and their fans.

Additionally, the film delves into the historical and cultural roots of lucha libre and its impact on Mexican popular culture making it one of the best documentaries about Mexico to watch.

Watch on Amazon:


The Three Deaths of Marisela Escobedo (2020)

The Three Deaths of Marisela Escobedo explores the story of Marisela Escobedo, a Mexican activist seeking justice for her daughter’s murder.

Marisela Escobedo’s daughter, Rubí Frayre, was murdered in 2008. Marisela tirelessly pursued justice and accused her daughter’s ex-boyfriend, Sergio Barraza, of the crime. Despite the evidence against him, Barraza was acquitted. In 2010, Marisela was murdered while protesting outside the Chihuahua State Government Palace. Her death added another layer of tragedy to the already devastating story.

The documentary sheds light on the flaws within the Mexican justice system, the challenges faced by those seeking justice for gender-based violence, and the dangers faced by activists in the country.

It intertwines personal narratives with broader social and political issues, offering a critical examination of the complexities surrounding Marisela Escobedo’s case.


Mexico: The Royal Tour (2010)

Mexico: The Royal Tour is part of the “Royal Tour” series, which features world leaders taking prominent figures on tours of their respective countries. In this case, Mexico’s then-President Felipe Calderón took Peter Greenberg, the CBS News Travel Editor, on a tour of Mexico in 2010.

The documentary showcases various aspects of Mexico, including its rich cultural heritage, historical sites, natural beauty, and modern developments. President Calderón acts as a guide, providing insights into Mexico’s history, culture, and contemporary life.

The film aims to promote tourism and highlight Mexico’s positive aspects, offering viewers a unique perspective on the country. Throughout the documentary, you are taken to iconic Mexican destinations, cultural landmarks, and diverse regions, providing a comprehensive view of the country’s attractions.

Watch on Amazon:


Presunto Culpable (2011)

Presunto Culpable (Presumed Guilty) focuses on the Mexican criminal justice system and tells the story of Antonio Zúñiga, a man who was wrongfully convicted of murder.

The documentary follows the efforts of two young lawyers, Roberto Hernández and Layda Negrete, as they work to prove Zúñiga’s innocence. Zúñiga had been sentenced to 20 years in prison for a crime he did not commit.

The filmmakers gained unprecedented access to the court proceedings, providing a close look at the flaws and injustices within the Mexican legal system.

“Presunto Culpable” has powerful storytelling and is a great exposé of the shortcomings in the Mexican judicial system. It sparked discussions and debates about legal reform and the need for improvements in the administration of justice.


Narco Cultura (2013)

Narco Cultura explores the intersection of drug cartels, violence, and popular culture in Mexico and the United States. It delves into the phenomenon of “narco culture,” which glorifies and romanticizes the activities of drug cartels.

The documentary is divided into two main storylines. One narrative focuses on the lives of members of the Los Angeles-based Mexican-American band Bukanas de Culiacán, whose songs celebrate the drug trade and cartel lifestyle. The other storyline follows Richi Soto, a crime scene investigator in Ciudad Juárez, one of the most dangerous cities in Mexico due to drug-related violence.

“Narco Cultura” explores how the drug trade and the associated violence have become ingrained in Mexican and Mexican-American popular culture, particularly through music and other forms of entertainment. It raises questions about the impact of this glorification on society and the normalization of violence.

Watch on Amazon:


Kingdom of Shadows (2015)

Kingdom of Shadows explores the impact of the drug trade on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border and delves into the lives of individuals affected by the violence and corruption associated with the drug cartels.

The documentary features interviews with a variety of subjects, including a Texas rancher who tries to prevent drug trafficking on his land, a missionary working with addicts in Mexico, and a former drug smuggler who seeks redemption. Through these personal stories, “Kingdom of Shadows” sheds light on the complexities of the drug war and its far-reaching consequences.

The film not only focuses on the immediate violence associated with the drug trade but also delves into the deeper societal issues and the human toll of the conflict. It provides a nuanced perspective on the challenges faced by those living in the border region and the difficult choices they must make in the face of the pervasive influence of drug cartels.

Watch on Amazon:


Lorena, Light-Footed Woman (2019)

Lorena, Light-Footed Woman is a short documentary film that explores the life and journey of Lorena Ramírez, a young indigenous woman from the Tarahumara community in Mexico who is known for her exceptional long-distance running abilities.

Lorena Ramírez gained international attention for her achievements in ultramarathon races, often running in traditional attire and sandals. The Tarahumara people, also known as the Rarámuri, are known for their long-distance running prowess, and Lorena’s story sheds light on the cultural and athletic heritage of her community.

The documentary delves into Lorena’s daily life, her connection to her indigenous roots, and the challenges she faces as a woman breaking into the world of competitive running. It also explores the tension between preserving cultural traditions and embracing modern opportunities.

The film captures both the beauty of the Tarahumara landscape and the determination of a young woman who runs not only for competition but also as a way of life. This is one of the best documentaries about Mexico to watch that has an insight to some of the indigenous people of the region.


Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown | Mexico City

Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown is a television series that aired from 2013 to 2018, featuring the late chef and travel documentarian Anthony Bourdain. In one of the episodes, Bourdain visits Mexico City to explore its culinary scene, cultural richness, and historical significance.

The Mexico City episode is part of Season 3, Episode 3, titled “Mexico City.”

In this particular episode, Bourdain delves into the diverse and dynamic food culture of Mexico’s capital. He explores traditional markets, street food stalls, and upscale restaurants, providing you with a taste of the city’s culinary offerings.

Beyond the food, the episode also delves into the city’s history, art, and the resilience of its people.

Watch the full episode for free on YouTube:

Lost World of the Maya (National Geographic)

The Maya were one of the great ancient civilizations of Central America and came before the Aztecs. In this episode, they explore some of the missing places of the Myans and explain some of their history.

It is a good final one to finish these documentaries about Mexico to learn some of the past of the region.

Full episode:


Whether focusing on the stunning landscapes, the culinary delights, or the resilient spirit of its people, documentaries about Mexico provide a lens through which you can gain a deeper understanding and appreciation for this fascinating country.

Also, have a look at the best documentaries about Canada.

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