Our Lady of the Assassins

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Novelist Fernando (stage actor Jaramillo) comes home to Medellín 'to die' after spending most of his life abroad. He's introduced to Alexis (Ballesteros) at a gay soirée and becomes the boy's sugar daddy - until Alexis is killed in one of the city's countless, everyday street hits, whereupon Fernando replaces him with the assassin (Restrepo). Vallejo's adaptation of his own (autobiographical?) novel provides Schroeder with a way of tackling life and, more particularly, death under the drug cartels. The main body of the film has Fernando revisiting sites he remembers from childhood and commenting on their decline and decay. Shot on high-definition video to minimise the crew's time in dangerous locations, the film certainly underlines how cheap life has become in Medellín. But by focusing on such an acquiescent protagonist and failing to question the sleazy gay soap-opera mechanics of the plot, the film looks more like part of the problem than part of the solution.

By: TR

Release details

Duration: 101 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Barbet Schroeder
Screenwriter: Fernando Vallejo
Cast: German Jaramillo
Anderson Ballesteros
Juan David Restrepo
Manuel Busquets
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Taking an unflinching look at the small value human life seems to have in Medellin through the eyes of Fernando and his relationship with Alexis was maybe a good idea to start with, but the problem with this on-screen garbage is that these two aspects only serve as an excuse for a fundamentally sleazy and exploitative excuse for diplaying any kind of gratuitous violence, to such a degree that at a certain point, the movie loses all its credibility and value, displaying with great complacency an authentic killing spree that Fernando and Alexis go on during their walks in Medellin. And the most pathetic scene is definitely the one with the dog, which both of them seem SO DESPERATE to have to kill. OK, the movie is misanthropic, but this aspect is no way a redeeming quality: after all, the nazis also preferred animals to the overwhelming majority of mankind. To sum up, this is only a huge nauseating crap.