As Mexico’s violence continues to spiral unabated, the film world has received another reminder of the often overlooked personal dimension of this tragic tendency. During a recent press junket for his upcoming gothic horror film Crimson Peak, master director Guillermo del Toro admitted to Excelsior TV that his wife’s cousin has been missing for over a month, and the family currently has no information as to his whereabouts.

With the recent one-year anniversary of the missing students from Iguala, Guerrero fresh in their minds along with an uncommonly high rate of kidnapping and extortion, most Mexicans would be justified in assuming the worst for a disappeared family member. For del Toro, however, the traumatic memory of his own father’s kidnapping back in 1997 is still painfully fresh, an incident which propelled him into exile with his family in Toronto.

Over the course of the brief interview, del Toro commented on the “true horror” of inaction in the face of this everyday reality, and suggested the solution begins with active citizenship. Del Toro has repeatedly expressed his desire to film another project in Mexico, but he admits that continued freedom of one of his father’s captors has been a principal factor in his reluctance to return long-term to his home country. Unfortunately, like so many of his fellow countrymen, he now has one more reason to be wary.

Crimson Peak will be opening Mexico’s Morelia Film Festival later this month after its October 16 stateside premiere.

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