It was in La Tierra Caliente, a mountainous subtropical zone in the state of Michoacán, where the Mexican Army launched its first major assault against the country’s drug cartels in December 2006. Nearly a decade and a half later, the failure of that mission is palpable, as drug-related violence has since grown into a full-blown and highly militarized conflict. Today that conflict is underplayed or even hidden by the Mexican government, while much of the news media ignores it altogether. However, a small number of independent reporters continue to risk life and limb to inform the public about the unraveling of civility in the hinterlands, publishing their images and stories wherever they can. Hot Lands is a short documentary film (21:14 min.) that follows one such person, photojournalist Enrique Castro Sanchez, into the frontlines of this forgotten war.