Split across 5 episodes, 1994 is the latest documentary series to shed light on corruption in Mexico. Hot off the heels of fellow documentary series The 43, 1994 is an insightful look at a particularly tumultuous time for Mexican politics, following the elections in 1994 and the ensuing chaos that followed. Through face to face interviews and a smattering of archival footage from that time, Netflix delivers another very good documentary series, one that’s sure to whet the appetite for anyone interested in politics or historical documentaries.
The first episode begins with look at the political landscape of Mexico on the run up to 1994. With a detailed breakdown of the mood and societal impact the PRI party had at this time, we see details of Luis Colosio’s rise to the front of this party while the rest of the episodes shed light on the events that occurred from January 1st 1994 onward. Following the first episode, we then see the Zapatist Army taking control before Colosio’s subsequent assassination and the post-election economic crisis that crippled the country in the wake of these politically tumultuous times.
1994’s pacing is perfectly poised to deliver each twist in the tale too, with each episode leading to the next with numerous face to face interviews with experts from that time helping to give credibility to the tale. Whether it be witnesses to the assassination or ex-President Carlos Salinas giving his expert insider knowledge of what transpired, 1994 does well to keep things balanced and true to the real events throughout its run time.
Most of the episodes take advantage of the abundance of archival footage available too, with most episodes chock full of speeches, news reports and eye-witness accounts to give their take on proceedings. Of course, this does mean almost all of the documentary is told in Spanish but to be honest, there’s no reason to dub this into English; it’s really not very good by comparison.
If there’s one thing Netflix excel at, it’s crime documentaries. 1994 is another very good addition to the collection, delivering a concise, well-paced account of the issues gripping Mexico’s political landscape in 1994. Much like The 43, 1994 stays true to the facts with a final episode closing out the series with experts weighing up the effect Colosio’s death had on the country. It’s an important documentary no doubt about it but it’s also a very good one too, making it well worth checking out.
Verdict - 8/10