This Monster Feeds Off Itself

 <br /><div class="MsoNoteLevel1CxSpFirst" style="margin-left: 0in; text-indent: 0.5in;"><i><span style="font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;">Our Lady of the Assassins</span></i><span style="font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;"> is a 2000 film by French director Barbet Schroeder that follows a Colombian writer’s return to Medellin after being gone for 30 years.<span>&nbsp; </span>He (Fernando) meets and falls for a homosexual teenager (Alexis) who also happens to be an assassin for one of the many gangs in Medellin.<span>&nbsp; </span>As their relationship grows, a rival gang soon kills Alexis, and Fernando is left alone.<span>&nbsp; </span>Fernando then comes across yet another homosexual assassin named Wilmar.<span>&nbsp; </span>They become close, but Fernando discovers that Wilmar is the one who killed Alexis, and vows to kill him.<span>&nbsp; </span>However, in the end he was unable to, and some other gang kills Wilmar too.<span>&nbsp; </span>By the end of the film at least twenty people have been killed on-screen, including Fernando’s two gay, teenage lovers and one injured dog.<span>&nbsp; </span>That is not very surprising considering that Colombia had been controlled by drug cartels and paramilitary groups for about the past fifty years.<span>&nbsp; </span>According to the readings by Forrest Hylton and Ricardo Vargas, Colombia has known nothing but violence for the past century.</span></div><div class="MsoNoteLevel1CxSpMiddle" style="margin-left: 0in; text-indent: 0.5in;"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoteLevel1CxSpMiddle" style="margin-left: 0in; text-indent: 0.5in;"><span style="font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;">Colombia had no government.<span>&nbsp; </span>There was basically constant civil war on the country between guerillas and paramilitary groups.<span>&nbsp; </span>One would gain control for a time, and then the other group would take over.<span>&nbsp; </span>Then came the third faction, the cartels and “the rise of the ‘informal sector’ – in which more than half the Colombian proletariat would be toiling by 1985.” (Hylton 62)<span>&nbsp; </span>The Colombia of the 1980s was ruled by the cocaine trafficking cartels. (64)<span>&nbsp; </span>More violence came to Colombia when the cartels entered into the politics of the country.<span>&nbsp; </span>“Political and criminal violence fed into one another, and homicide became the leading cause of death among males,” and since the cartels were the government, there was nothing present in the country to stop the violence. (65)<span>&nbsp; </span></span></div><div class="MsoNoteLevel1CxSpMiddle" style="margin-left: 0in; text-indent: 0.5in;"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoteLevel1CxSpMiddle" style="margin-left: 0in; text-indent: 0.5in;"><span style="font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;">Pablo Escobar, one of the cartel leaders, funded thousands of assassins that would later become the gangs that are seen terrorizing Medellin in the film, because “private violence [was] used as a mechanism of social control and the exercise of power.” (Vargas 107)<span>&nbsp; </span>His cartel was able to gain control because, “it did not require a mediating role with the state; on the contrary, it strengthened its territorial control based on an illegal and globalized market… Private power [was] thus being used to create a new public order.” (109)<span>&nbsp; </span>When Escobar was killed and the “new public order” that he helped create collapsed, a new one took its place, and it consisted of gangs of his former assassins constantly warring for control for territory in Medellin and other parts of Colombia, which is introduced to the viewer in the film.<span>&nbsp; </span>This was also caused by:</span></div><div class="MsoNoteLevel1CxSpMiddle"><span style="font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;">The lack of legitimate institutions to resolve conflicts and the fact that many of those involved in the drug trade came from lower-class sectors previously denied access to the region’s sources of wealth led to an unprecedented wave of violence. (113)</span></div><div class="MsoNoteLevel1CxSpMiddle" style="margin-left: 0in;"><span style="font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;">That wave of violence was depicted in the film, and started a cycle of violence that may never truly come to an end. <span>&nbsp;</span></span></div><div class="MsoNoteLevel1CxSpMiddle" style="margin-left: 0in;"><br /></div><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="271" src="" width="400" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Comrades, break the cycle.&nbsp; OR BE JUDGED!</td></tr></tbody></table><div class="MsoNoteLevel1CxSpMiddle" style="margin-left: 0in;"><br /></div><div class="MsoNoteLevel1CxSpLast" style="margin-left: 0in; text-indent: 0.5in;"><br /></div><div class="blogger-post-footer"><img width='1' height='1' src='' alt='' /></div>