The film chosen for this week was “Maria Full of Grace”, directed by Joshua Marston. Set in Columbia, this film follows a young girl named Maria who gets pregnant and results in becoming a drug mule to help her earn money. Maria worked in a factory in a small town outside of Bogota, helping provide for herself and her family. When she becomes pregnant by her deadbeat boyfriend she moves to Bogota to find better job opportunities and soon encounters a man who offers her a job as a drug mule. Given her limited options, she accepts the offer and travels to New York with heroin in her stomach. Maria soon realizes the dangers of her situation as we follow her harrowing, suspenseful journey to New York.
This film portrays the intensity and horror of the drug industry, leaving you unable to look away as Maria’s chances of survival waver throughout. The drug industry is still a major problem in Columbia, leaving many who are forced into this way of life to earn a living. Maria’s resilience and will to survive shows the desperation these drug mules face, as there are limited options for other employment. The reality of this industry is something that many people do not want to accept. Addicts all over the world, an estimated six million in the US, help make this a $46 billion industry. This continued funding has made a horrific cycle for people in Colombia, ruining lives every day. The impact this has had on the economy and the exploitation of individuals under the poverty line is inhumane and an example of the disregard of human life as a means to earn money. This film does not hide this, as it gives you a hard dose of reality.
What about you? Did you see the movie? Did you enjoy it? What movies do you recommend to continue learning about Colombia?