My review of 'The Two Escobars',an amazing documentary which analyzes the lives and connections between two men who shared the same surname,but were very different personalities:Colombian soccer player Andres Escobar and the most famous drug lord of all the times,Pablo Escobar.
'The Two Escobars' is a documentary directed by Jeff Zimbalist and produced by his brother Michael which aired on ESPN in 2010 and which takes us back to the glory days of Colombian soccer and explains how its grotwh was possible due to the involvement of drug cartels in supporting the country's main soccer clubs.The two men on which the movie's focused,Andres and Pablo Escobar,two extremely different characters,are remembered either by their relatives or by their closest friends,and their accounts,along with footage from that period,helps us make a clear picture of those troubled times for Colombian society in which the two Escobars lived and became famous.
The accounts of those who evoke Andres and Pablo Escobar reveal two opposite people,with different beliefs and approaches in life.On the hand,we discover that Andre Escobar was a kind,generous man who was passionate about his soccer career and wanted to do good things and use the money he earned in soccer to help poor children.On the hand,we find out that Pablo Escobar also behaved like an extremely generous persons,helping the local community by building schools,heath clinics,soccer fields and many other facilities for the community,a fact which made him very popular among the poor people of Medellin,but at the same time a man with a much darker personality,whose wealth came came from drug trafficking and who was ruthless with everyone who dared stand in its way.This man,so loved and at the same so feared,was a huge fan of soccer,and his involvement in financing local team Atletico Nacional Medellin that contributed enormously to the sudden rise of Colombian soccer and his unexpected international success.The documentary presents the highlights of the Copa Libertadores final from 1989 between Atletico Nacional and Olimpia Asuncion,a game dramatically by the team from Medellin after a penalty shoot-out in which Andres Escobar scored a goal and the lifted the precious trophy.Those unique moments,which Colombian soccer fans had never experienced before,brought great joy in a country which had very little to celebrate,a land shaken by extreme violence caused by the fierce confrontations between the state forces and the unscrupulous drug lords,and especially Pablo Escobar,the most powerful of all,who made huge amounts of money in one day from his illlegal activities.
The involvement of drug lords in the world of soccer,which took place not only at Atletico Nacional,but also in America de Cali or Millionarios Bogota,where Pablo Escobar's rivals also created very powerful teams,is explained by the fact that soccer was used as a perfect opportunity for money laundering,and thus the term 'narco soccer' was born.The players were aware of who the bosses were,and we find out from Andres Escobar's sister that he wasn't happy at all when the team was invited to Pablo's residence,even if the players were treated like kings.Andres definitely knew about the activities of the club's boss and certainly didn't approve them,but he had no choice,he had to go there.It's obvious that his joy of playing the game he loved so much and which allowed him to make other people happy as well was overshadowed by his sadness caused by the fact that he couldn't do too much to stop the violence from spreading across the country.
TO BE CONTINUED
Read Part 2 Here: