La virgen de los sicarios, or Our Lady of the Assassins, is a 2000 film directed by Barbet Schroeder. It is a film about two gay lovers in Medellin, Colombia. The main character Fernando comes back to the city in order to die, but after meeting Alexis his view on life changes as they begin a relationship. Alexis is eventually murdered by some gang members on motorcycles. Fernando is devastated but later meeds Alexis’s cousin, Wilmar, who looks and acts just like Alexis. The drama begins when Fernando finds out that Wilmar is the gang member who killed Alexis and Fernando wants to avenge the death. When Fernando learns the reasons behind the murder he changes his mind, however Wilmar too is murdered before they can leave the country together. The last scene shows Fernando close the blinds to his apartment and leaves it up to the viewer on whether or not he committed suicide.
This film shows perfectly the violence that not only exists in Columbia but is treated with expectance and disregard. The numerous murders throughout the film are done in bright daylight in the middle of a city, however the murderers continue on their way as if nothing happened. The main characters specifically treat murder with a sick indifference. Ever since the death of Pablo Escobor, people who used to work for him have had to try and find how to continue the drug trade and how it has brought extreme violence. The War in Columbia article says it best with, “Contrary to repeated official statements about “narco-guerrillas,” U.S. intelligence analyses of guerrilla involvement in the drug trade have been decidedly mixed. Some of the documents indicate that guerrillas are intimately involved with narcotics trafficking, while others downplay this association. One CIA report concluded that, “officials in Lima and Bogotá, if given antidrug aid for counterinsurgency purposes, would turn it to pure anti guerrilla operations with little payoff against trafficking.”
The film showed a Columbia that represented both the poverty and the modernity that exists within the nation. One scene represents this extremely well as the main characters enter a mall to buy a kid a box of treats. The mall seems like one you would almost find in the United States with modern stores and products, however when they leave the mall they encounter extreme poverty in the form of homeless people begging for food. This poverty, as in cases all around the world, has led to the violence shown in the film. The Vargas article says it best with, “The lack of legitimate institutions to resolve conflicts and the fact that many of those involved in the drug trade cane from lower class sectors previously denied access to the regions sources of wealth led to a wave of violence”.
It was very surprising how anti-religious this film was. Throughout the film Fernando mocks many of Christianity’s main teachings, while offering a different view on each particular subject. It is ironic because towards the end of the film, when he is debating on killing Wilmar, he goes to the church and asks Christ for the power to kill the boy. This shows how all people at some point will look for a higher power when dealing with extreme crises.