The Two Escobars

This documentary examines Pablo Escobar, drug lord, and Andrés Escobar, soccer hero, and what happened when the cocaine kingpin poured drug money into Columbia's national soccer federation.

Directed by Michael and Jeff Zimbalist

(Not Rated)

***

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This documentary about a drug lord and a sports hero delivers a true-life saga “of Shakespearean proportions,” said Linda Hassler in HuffingtonPost.com. Its dual protagonists, Pablo Escobar and Andrés Escobar, were folk heroes in 1990s Colombia before their careers fatefully intertwined. The men were unrelated by blood, but as soccer star Andrés pushed the national team to a World Cup berth, cocaine kingpin Pablo chose to pour money into the national soccer federation both to burnish his Robin Hood image and to launder his drug earnings. Their story, especially given its bloody ending, makes for “chewy stuff,” said David Fear in Time Out New York. Unfortunately, directors Michael and Jeff Zimbalist too often are just pasting facts together instead of adding richer context. The film feels like “a great-man-of-sports portrait halfheartedly grafted onto an A&E biography.” But the facts are there, and they speak volumes, said Elizabeth Weitzman in the New York Daily News. This is not just a dual biography. It’s a “portrait of an entire country in almost unthinkable distress.”

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