The Two Escobars
What it's about: In 1994, Colombian soccer star Andres Escobar accidentally scored an own-goal while playing in the World Cup's opening stage against the U.S., resulting in his vaunted team being eliminated from the tournament. It was seen as an embarrassment for the country, and in retaliation for the mistake, Escobar was gunned down outside a nightclub in his hometown five days later.
What it's really about: National identity. Success on the international stage can help reshape a country's image, something Colombia was in desperate want of in the early 1990s. So in walked the other Escobar, Pablo, baron of the Medellín Drug Cartel whose meteoric rise and fall was conveniently linked to the fates of the Colombian soccer team, according to directors Jeff and Mike Zimablist. But, they said, "It became clear this was far from a classic deal-with-the-devil narrative. Rather, this was the story of the passions and dreams of a people intrinsically tied to the rise and fall of a team." A look at both Escobars helps to explain the tensions in a country defined by murder trying to escape its past.Back to top