Thursday, August 1, 2013

Movie of the Month - The Two Escobars

In keeping with our August tradition of showcasing a soccer film as the world preps for every important soccer league to start later this month, one film is much more poignant now than ever before. Just last month, Brazil hosted the Confederations Cup and took home the top prize, it was the first major global tournament held in South America in decades. While Brazil may have the infrastructure, many looked at the continent with a sharp eye considering most of South America is unfortunately generalized and stereotyped with cocaine and drug trafficing. No film captured that more than The Two Escobars. Made over several years, the film tracks the parallel lives of Columbia's most infamous drug dealer, Pablo Escobar and Columbia's most infamous soccer player, Andreas Escobar. While the two men were polar opposites in nearly every way, they were bound together for their nationalism and pride, as well as coming from the same city -- Medellian. In the early 90's, Columbian soccer was on the rise in South America and in the world, the rise of Colombian soccer is attributed to the influx of drug money that came through via Pablo Escobar and the other cartels. In 1994, the national team, featuring Andreas Escobar, had a chance to showcase themselves at the World Cup hosted by the USA. The team, which was promised to even make it to the finals, hit a swift decline ultimately at the hands of Andreas Escobar as he scored an own goal against Team USA, that own goal would cost him his life. This film is much more than a soccer documentary, much more than a sports film, it is an examination of the intersection of sports, crime, and politics. For Colombians, like the two Escobar's the beautiful game was far more than a sport, it was their entire national identity rode on the success or failure of their team. This film is a must see.