30 for 30: Season 1, Episode 16

The Two Escobars (22 Jun. 2010)

TV Episode  |   |  Documentary, Biography, Sport
8.5
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Reviews: 13 user | 36 critic

The rise of Colombian soccer is attributed to the influx of drug money into the sport by Pablo Escobar and the other drug cartels. However, the team's swift decline after Escobar's death results in the murder of star player Andres Escobar.

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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
María Ester Escobar ...
Herself
Francisco Maturana ...
Himself
Alexis García V. ...
Himself
Jaime Gaviria Gómez ...
Himself
Jhon Jairo Velásquez V. ...
Himself
Rubén Darío Pinilla C. ...
Himself
Juan José Bellini ...
Himself
Fernando Rodríguez Mondragón ...
Himself
Eduardo Rojo ...
Himself
Leonel Alvarez ...
Himself
Luz María Escobar ...
Herself
Luis Fernando Herrera ...
Himself
Fernando Brito ...
Himself
Tom Cash ...
Himself
Alirio López ...
Himself
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Storyline

Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, many believe, Pablo Escobar's Medellín Cartel and the Cali Cartels were largely responsible for financing and building the Colombian National soccer team into one of the world's best. But in an early match against the United States in the 1994 FIFA World Cup, a Colombian defense man named Andres Escobar-no relation to Pablo-committed an own goal that led to the team's elimination. Less than ten days later, Escobar was gunned down outside a bar in a suburb of Medellin. He was shot 12 times, and the murderer shouted "goal" each time the trigger was pulled. Was Escobar's murder an isolated incident, or were gambling organizations controlled by the cartels responsible? Award-winning director Jeff Zimbalist will examine the mysterious events leading up to and surrounding Andres Escobar's death. Written by Anonymous

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22 June 2010 (USA)  »

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References Favela Rising (2005) See more »

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The differences between two men with the same last name
24 June 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I went to watch this documentary full of apprehension, I had to try and summon the courage to face some old demons. This story for me was personal on many levels. I am Colombian; I grew up in Medellín in the 1980s. I went to school with Andrés Escobar's fiancé. And I was at the Rose Bowl in 1994, when Andrés scored the infamous "auto-goal" in a failed attempt to prevent the ball from going into the net. As I drove to the theater last week, I could feel my emotions gathering up in my chest, and old forgotten wounds felt suddenly brand new. I've tried very hard not to think of that day in June of 1994, but I remember it well. Even though the disappointment was palpable, there was no shame in our defeat. I was proud of our team! It was difficult to feel proud of anything Colombian in those days. Perhaps it was fortunate that I didn't yet know of the insurmountable amount of shame that would fall upon all of us a few days later, on the day Andrés was killed.

I've lived in the U.S. for over 25 years now, and I've learned to suppress pain and anger when both strangers and friends make "funny" drug related comments in my presence. Few non- Colombians have been able to grasp the magnitude of the damage Andrés' senseless murder caused. It wasn't about "bad sportsmanship". This was more than another black mark on our well-tarnished national image. The death of Andrés branded all Colombians as savages, it vanished the role models of millions. It stole the hope of an entire nation. It made us all infamous!

The Two Escobars utterly surprised me. Although the title might suggest an emphasis on the similarities of these two men, it really highlights the vast difference in their moral fiber. Two young American brothers were able to weave this documentary, that eloquently expresses what an entire nation hadn't been able to verbalize in over a decade. The Zimbaslist brothers didn't tell us what happened. They showed us what happened using Colombian footage, using our own words, interviewing the surviving protagonists—villains, heroes, and victims alike. The documentary is well balanced. They not only show the horror of what we Colombians have lived through, but also how far we've come. I am so immensely grateful for this film, and to Michael and Jeff Zimbalist for their commitment to tell a story that wasn't their own. I want to dare everybody I know to go see it, not because it paints my compatriots in a good light, but simply because it is honest and enlightening, and I hope it shatters some tiresome stereotypes. It's important to remember that every time we label something or someone based on a generalization, we betray our own ignorance. Every story has a Pablo Escobar—a despicable characters that makes headline news—but fortunately every story also has someone like Andrés Escobar.


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