Saturday, August 7, 2010

The Two Escobars

The Two Escobars follows the stories of Colombian soccer player Andres Escobar and Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar, no relation. In the late 80s and early 90s Colombia was among the most violent places to live and a country that contained one of the most exiting soccer teams around. These facts were partially the result of men like Pablo Escobar, whose drug trades created violence in the streets and who also needed ways to launder their funds. An easy way to do this was through purchasing a soccer team and claim the excess funds in player trades. This also allowed soccer teams to keep their best players and acquire new ones, allowing their teams to flourish. Andres Escobar was a star on one of these teams, a man unlike the other men. He served as a role model and did not like what he saw in his country. Both Andres and Pablo, although the latter was a notorious criminal and created many problems, wanted to see changes in Colombia, strived to make a difference, and both met tragic ends--which devastated the country and made them move towards change. The Two Escobars, Jeff and Michael Zimbalist's entry into the 30 for 30 series is intriguing, if not a bit overlong. I did wonder if it wasn't a stretch to draw comparisons between the two Escobars, and I do not necessarily agree with the way the film makes Pablo Escobar into a national hero.