La Virgen de los Sacaros

The film for review this week is entitled La Virgen de los Sacaros, which is the peculiar story of a homosexual author who finds love and despair as he returns to his home Medellin, Columbia. As the writer attempts to find joy in his new life he meets a boy, and soon they fall in love. The two make a dynamic couple whit both bringing their own perspective viewpoints on the city of Medellin to the table. The older writer remembers the city as it was in his youth without a booming population and massive poverty. The boy on the other hand knows only the violence brought by competing gangs and drug cartels. Throughout the movie the dialogue between the two characters does an excellent job of showing changes Columbia has seen this century due to civil unrest. Overall the film gives a great perspective of just how the deeply rooted political violence of Columbia’s past has effected its citizens in modern times.

The movie relates to this week’s readings in many different ways. After reading the first document, which gives a summary of the United States drug war in Columbia, it was easier to understand why people tolerate the violence depicted in the movie. The document gives the notion that the Columbian government is simply incapable of stopping traffickers due to many reasons including corruption, lack of funding, and lack of willpower. In the movie it seems that street shootouts were commonplace, and assassins were everywhere. A major question that the document raises though is just how effective has United States intervention in Columbia been. By forcing drug trafficking underground it seems we have created a country deeply rooted in violence. The reading shows that as demand for drugs rises in the United States, the power of the cartels will only increase. Soon it will be inevitable that we either change our policies on how we deal with the issue, or change laws that will affect the demand of the product.

The other reading; Evil Hour in Columbia written by Forest Hylton, gives details on the hostile state of affairs in Columbian Politics dating as far back as the 1920’s, and giving insight onto events in modern times as well. The most interesting thing about the reading is how it details the processes which led to Columbia’s political unrest. The importance of understanding this document in correlation to the movie is so that the viewer can understand the two worlds the writer and his young assassin lover come from. The writer lived in Columbia in the Pre-Escobar era at a time when Columbia’s political system seemed to be at a lockout. The boy on the other hand was born into a chaotic Columbia where drugs and guns have caused society to lose its humanity. The two seem to bond on the fact that they have two differing views on the world.  By understanding these two contrasting viewpoints we can understand what deeper intentions that La Virgen de los Sacaros intends to give to viewers.