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OUR LADY OF THE ASSASSINS

France / Colombia, 2000 (MIFF 2001, Viva – New Latin American Cinema)

Director: Barbet Schroeder

Barbet Schroeder's, Our Lady of the Assassins, is the powerful story of a city in ruins and one man's desperate journey to make sense of his life. The semi-autobiographical tale by Fernando Vallejo centres around the writer's return to his birthplace of Medellin, Colombia, which over four decades has degenerated into the drug capital of the world—dominated by assaults, kidnapping, and murder. He has come to die, but instead begins a relationship with Alexis, a violent young man caught in the continuous gang warfare that touches every life in Medellin. They could not be more different, yet the two learn from the other's experience, discovering through the violent horror of the streets, the essential richness of life itself.

"Barbet Schroeder returns to Columbia, where he grew up, after 15 years making films in the US. Schroeder is all too aware of the struggle to make a film under dangerous conditions, yet authenticity was essential for this film. Violence, homosexuality, the difference in age between the two lovers-all are portrayed naturally and without judgement.''—Sundance Film Festival

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