THE PLOT THUS FAR
Ruben Salazar: Man in the Middle examines the life and mysterious death of pioneering journalist Ruben Salazar. At the heart of the story is Salazar’s transformation from a mainstream, middle-of-the-road reporter to a supporter and primary chronicler of the radical Chicano movement of the late 1960s. Killed under mysterious circumstances by a law enforcement officer in 1970, Salazar became an instant martyr to the Latino community which had often criticized his reporting during his lifetime. Adding to the Salazar mystique is that the details of how he was killed have been obscured in the ensuing four decades since his death.
Featuring material from recently released files obtained by the filmmaker, Ruben Salazar: Man in the Middle removes Salazar from the glare of myth and martyrdom and offers a clear-eyed look at the man.
WHAT WE THOUGHT
“Ruben Salazar: Man in the Middle” is a rather strong documentary about the troubles faced by international journalists. Especially, when those troubles strike close to home. Salazar was a Mexican born journalist who had made significant strides in providing a voice for Latinos in Los Angeles and other Latino rich areas during the 1960s. Accused of frequently of being a mouthpiece for the radical Chicanos, Salazar made allies with fringe journalists such as Hunter S. Thompson. Unfortunately, this meant nothing when the man was killed by an LAPD officer’s neglect.
Too many times, Western audiences look over the troubles faced by press in international hotspots. They become so accustomed to this cliche take on a pampered journalist jotting off to tropical and haute couture locales, that they forget that journalists are targeted everywhere including the US. Salazar died from being struck in the head by a tear gas canister that was fired into an enclosed area by a cop with a grudge. While Salazar has become a hero in the local area following his death, the means of his death have only been scrutinized in the last few years. Prepare to watch and be disgusted at how justice fails the press.
The DVD comes with no special features. The A/V Quality is pretty strong. The transfer is clean, but the Dolby track doesn’t get a ton of back channel support. Ultimately, it’s a pretty standard PBS documentary sent to DVD. In the end, I’d recommend a purchase to the curious.
RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW!