The inside story of drug lord Pablo Escobar through the eyes of his only son. Nicolas Entel's searing documentary tells the story of Pablo Escobar -- Colombian drug kingpin, murderer and family man -- through the eyes of his son Sebastian as well as the sons of two of Escobar's most prominent victims. Sebastian shares stories of living in luxury and on the lam, but more significantly, he attempts to end the cycle of bloody retribution and make peace with two of the men his father so deeply wronged.
Sins of My Father, the story of Pablo Escobar told by his son
The role of the son in the history of mafia bears a responsibility that very few people would be willing to assume. From the beginning the descendent is doomed, against his own will, to the consequences of the actions of his ancestors. In theory, he is compelled to preserve the clan and family tradition. The later is always the only emotional core and real motivation of the gangster to remain alive and for which he, as the son of his father, has the exclusive right to seek revenge.
This generational vision gets more profound in the film that Nicolás Entel made to construct a portrait of Pablo Escobar from the internal, almost confident view of his thirty-two years old son Juan Pablo Escobar, who changed his original name to Sebastián Marroquín. In the movie, he is a narrator with a silent but unstoppable love for life and, in spite of this dual identity, tell us the story of his father´s life with an astonishing honesty.
Premiered in the International Film Festival of Berlin in 2009, *Sins of my father* (2009, Argentina) is a cathartic journey filmed with a sniper pulse that emerge successfully from the other audiovisual products that usually supply the growing demand of the contemporary narco-culture. Entel´s film about the most famous “Mafioso” is notorious not just for using an anti-hero as the leading character, but for the intelligent decision of questioning the role of the son.
From the beginning the narrative of the film is presented without unnecessary delays. The information given is direct and avoid the usual televise suspense of the “what is going to happen next” criteria. The important thing for Entel is to meticulously make the narration as close as possible to Marroquin´s view using his comments which are always filmed from a reassuring more geographical than a dramatic distance. This decision may be a aesthetical reaction to film a man with fear, someone that has been able to leave behind his identity but no his ancestry.
After a few minutes of necessary contextualization, Marroquin acquires an unexpected corpus as a character of the film. He moves from a discursive dimension, in which his comments are illustrated by images — some of them of immeasurable value like the homemade videos of scenes of Escobar´s family in “Finca Napoles”, a sort of Colombian “Never Land Ranch” — to a more active level as a character who travels to his own purge, a man who finally confronts his past.
The climax of the story cannot be more convenient. Marroquin visits the sons of the two most important politicians that his father murdered for daring to stand up to his empire, Rodrigo Lara Bonilla and Luis Carlos Galán. Three lineages confronted in the present by the ghosts of the past. Marroquin ignores the natural destiny as the son of a Mafioso and discards the revenge that once promised as an adolescent just after he knew about his father´s death. In this reunion of orphans occurs the most important event of the film.
With its simplicity and intelligence, *Sins of my father* transcends any moralizer view and stands out as a thrilling film that marks a respectful distance from any other gangster film.
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