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Saturday, May 26, 2012

The Two Escobars (2010)

When: Circa 1960
Where: Medellin, Columbia               

              Carlos Escobar was the world’s most dreaded drug lord from Medellin. Andres Escobar was a gifted and loved Columbian football defender. Fate crossed their paths and tragedy ensued. 1970’s was a time when Columbia was a shining example of social inequality where the rich grew richer and poor were left to rot. This created a perfect setup for crime and young Carlos took it upon himself to steal from the rich. Coming from a poverty ridden family he couldn’t bear to see how the rich never gave anything back to help the society, stealing from them was the only right path he could think of. What started with car thefts moved on to Kidnapping and finally drug trafficking. He went on to become one of the wealthiest men in the world and the most feared druglord there was.

                Andres Escobar was a soft spoken, shy by nature football played hailing from Medellin, fondly nicknamed as the “Gentleman of Football” by fans. Started his pro career with playing for Atlético Nacional at 18, went on to captain his national team which was then at its very peak. He was loved by the Columbian people and commanded respect from players. Always the one to think how football can heal the society he lived in, how it can grow to be more than just a game.

                Carlos had his own way of giving back, other than slaughtering his rivals and channelling 80% of the world’s cocaine at that time, he helped the poor by fulfilling their basic needs and nurturing football at grassroots. He had a deep love for football and this led him to pump money into initially creating football grounds for locals to later funding Atletico Nacional team, team for which Andres played, which in turn served as a perfect cover for his drug money laundering operation. Eventually Carlos grew so big with drugs that the world, especially US DEA, took notice and started a hunt for his head by calling for his extradition.

The documentary goes on to say how these two people completely unrelated by blood, nature or what they represented to the world had an effect on others lives in the most unthinkable ways. How what started as a totally unrelated incident resulted in the death of people who had nothing to do with it, along with ones who did, and also the death of a country’s passion and hope. A brilliant documentary which keeps the viewer engrossed in a story that seems so unreal and completely scripted.

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