Monday, January 14, 2008

Essential Cinema - 17

Spanish with English Subtitles

Maria, Full Of Grace

Catalina Sandino Moreno
Virgina Ariza
Rodrigo Sánchez Borhorquez
Charles Albert Patiño
Wilson Guerrero
Johanna Andrea Mora

Joshua Marston

Joshua Marston

Jim Denault

A young woman finds herself pregnant and un-employed in a rural Colombian village. In order to help out her family she agrees to transport narcotics into the United States as a mule for drug dealers. A human face to the concept of illegal immigration and the war on drugs.

The harsh reality of the lives of those in the third world. Desperate people do desperate things, sometimes with awful consequences.

This films starts out as an interesting and beautiful view of rural South American life. When the circumstances become dire, there are those that will seek opportunity in the less fortunate.

This becomes an uncomfortable film to watch when the young woman begins her decent into the calculating and ruthless world of the narcotics trade. Her innocence and desire to do the right thing comes into sharp contrast with the reality of money and power.

Near the latter portions of the story, you are on edge of your seat with fear of what might happen to the young women as she tries to juggle the lies and secrets to stay one step ahead of the game.

Catalina Sandino Moreno is superb in her portrayal of the young protagonist and she brings depth and compassion to her character. Anyone who has a strong stance on the immigration / illegal alien debate in the United States, should see this film. It might change your point of view.