Sins Of My Father

Sins Of My Father


Reviewed by: Leanne McGrath

This documentary is the incredible story of Pablo Escobar, the infamous boss of Colombia’s Medellin drug cartel, as told by his son and widow.

They fled their home country after his death and have been in exile ever since, trying to rebuild their lives in the shadow of his formidable legacy. Escobar’s son, who changed his name to Sebastian Marroquin to avoid notoriety, tells of his extraordinary childhood - growing up with a father he loved but who was public enemy number one.

He and his mother open their family photograph albums and show home movies of the drug kingpin, revealing how he spent his wealth on extravagant toys for his children, exotic animals and long vacations to far-flung places.

The picture they paint of a loving, generous family man is a million miles from his public persona - a ruthless killer whose cartel controlled 80 per cent of the global cocaine market. The movie also details how Escobar was a Robin Hood-type hero to the poor of Medellin. Born into poverty himself, he spent millions building churches, sports centres and fields and even a housing complex.

But Nicolas Entel’s documentary does not attempt to hide Escobar’s crimes and focuses on two of his most prominent victims. He ordered the assassinations of Justice Minister Rodrigo Lara and presidential candidate Luis Carlos Galan following their public denouncement of him and vows to end his trade.

The documentary shows Sebastian reached out to the men’s sons by writing them an impassioned letter begging for forgiveness and asking them to help him end the cycle of revenge and retaliation plaguing their country.

He believes their reconciliation would send a powerful message of peace and forgiveness that could help rebuild the nation. Sebastian’s meetings with the men are tense and emotional and Entel’s camera records events without being intrusive.

The director succeeds in capturing in-depth, revealing interviews with Sebastian, his mother and Escobar’s enemies’ sons and skillfully presents how all are victims who have suffered greatly. He paints Escobar as both hero and villain without bias or judgment and includes informative, easy-to-follow linear narration.

Neither Entel nor Sebastian promote drugs as a lucrative trade - it may have made Escober millions but it ultimately cost him his life and ruined the lives of his loved ones.

Reviewed on: 11 Jun 2010
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The story of Pablo Escobar - as recounted by his son and widow.
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Director: Nicolas Entel

Writer: Nicolas Entel, Pablo Farina

Year: 2009

Runtime: 90 minutes

Country: Argentina, Colombia

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If you like this, try:

The Two Escobars