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Staff Picks Category: Colombia

Two Escobars []



This riveting documentary film was made by Northampton natives Jeff and Michael Zimbalist as part of the excellent ESPN 30 for 30 series. It examines a harrowing period in Colombia’s history when rival drug cartels were warring in the streets and the national soccer team set out to win the world cup and by extension, create a new positive image for their country. The Two Escobars of the title are Andres Escobar, the softspoken but inspiring captain of the National Team, and Pablo Escobar, who was a notorious cartel leader and brutal drug baron, but also a team owner and folk hero to many poor people in Colombia. The documentary takes a clear eyed look at a period of Colombian soccer and society which stretched from the height of the phenomenon known as “Narco-Soccer” through their ignominious and ultimately tragic loss in the first round of the 1994 World Cup. Like many of the 30 for 30 series filmmakers, the directors succeed in showing the importance and influence of sport on society as a whole, how it reflects and is influenced by the best and worst aspects of our culture. As a result the film appeals to viewers who are not die-hard sports fans, ‘soccer’ fans or familiar with World Cup Football. One of the best of the ESPN 30 for 30 series and best documentaries of 2010, it was an Official Selection at the Cannes, Tribeca and Los Angeles Film Festivals.

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