Sunday, July 1, 2012

Film Recommendation of the Week...

Pablo Escobar-El Patrón del Mal

This is Colombia's most ambitious television project, filmed in high-definition HD in 450 different locations in and around the country of Colombia. The script was taken from interviews with as many of the protagonists from those times who managed to survive that were willing to talk and from newspaper reports that covered the life and times of one of the most infamous and financially successful criminals that ever existed in Latin America, and some say the world. His net worth was reported by Forbes magazine at $3 billion dollars. The tale of Pablo Escobar is so incredible and outlandish it rivals anything ever seen before or since in the annals of organized crime.

Interestingly enough, Escobar's lone son took offense to the Forbes article listing his father as the wealthiest narco-trafficker on Earth, blaming the magazine's publishing of the (according to him) fictitious accounting of his father's net worth, stating that it caused the rise of kidnapping attempts against him and other family members. He brings up some very excellent points, but of course Michael Noer, Forbes staff writer, responds like a typical out-of-touch idiot gringo who knows nothing about Latin America and how things work.

Sanctimonious platitudes like the following when responding to the criminal sub-culture of kidnappings in Latin America illustrates how stupid and insensitive these right-wing jag-offs are about the world around them-

"I’m sorry that your country remains that dysfunctional. That is something you should strive to change."

No shit, asshole. Maybe you should give this sentiment a bit more thought when you're at a Republican fund raiser and watch how many of these elitist assholes go to the bathroom every five minutes to snort cocaine, and how people of your ilk are just as responsible for the misery incurred by drug trafficking than anyone who looks to it as a  money-making venture.

Here is a link to the exchange between Noer and Escobar's son-

There really is no accounting for the total amount of money Escobar had amassed during his reign of terror. He did spend tons of it not only on himself but in the community, building soccer fields, low-income housing, and aiding countless campesinos with their problems. He also paid a lot in bribes to politicians, public officials, and military/police personnel and spent probably just as much on assassinations. His son states that after the death of his father, only about 1/20th of said amount was actually accounted for, but let's not forget the properties and bank accounts confiscated by the Colombian government during his father's time on the run. It is not difficult to imagine that even if the figure given by Forbes is an exaggeration, it is probably closer to the truth than his son cares to admit, who stated during an interview that while living at Hacienda Nápoles, Pablo Escobar's infamous ranch, they actually stopped making purchases for a while because they had run out of things to buy. Ain't that some shit.

Moving on, I've watched the first 23 chapters (and counting) on this site-

...and I have to say it's been excellent. For those looking for the blood and guts of Escobar's criminal enterprise, you will be disappointed. This series focuses on the personal, business and political machinations of the Medellín cartel, and Pablo's role in it. The gratuitous womanizing and wild parties is downplayed in an attempt to get an authentic feel for what Escobar's life was like on a daily basis.

It is a fascinating account of one of the most feared and heralded banditos of the 20th Century and should not be missed. And yes, the series is in Spanish. The link I provided does not include English subtitles, so if you're not a native speaker you're a bit out of luck. But when this series is released on DVD, it will no doubt include subtitles*.

*If you have any plans on visiting Colombia or any other Latin American country, do yourself a favor an get the Rosetta Stone Instructional Series for Spanish. In six months you should have the basics down pat and you'll be good to go. Once you do that, watch about 4-5 Spanish drama series to familiarize yourself with the accents and vocabulary so you'll be able to understand the lingo enough to fend for yourself when you travel.

*Sorry, everyone-the video trailer that I posted has been taken down from youtube, and I can't find another one anywhere on the internet. When I find it I'll re-post it. Thank you for your patience. 

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