‘Birds of Passage’ Directors Aim for Honesty With Local Colombian Talent

  • Variety
Practically everything audiences know about the Colombian drug trade they learned from movies, U.S. news reports or shows like Netflix’s popular “Narcos” — in which cocaine kingpin Pablo Escobar is played by a Brazilian actor who speaks Spanish with a ridiculously thick Portuguese accent.

“The story of the foreign misrepresentation of Colombia goes way back. I think the most offensive example is the Brad Pitt movie ‘Mr. & Mrs. Smith,’ which presents Bogotá — which is a very big, high-altitude city — as a tropical village,” says Colombian director Ciro Guerra. “You see similar problems in films like ‘Romancing the Stone’ and ‘Clear and Present Danger,’ which are usually shot in Mexico.”

So, when it came to identifying the bad guys in Colombian drug-running epic “Birds of Passage,” Guerra and co-director Cristina Gallego don’t blame Escobar, but a trio of American Peace Corps workers who saw an opportunity to smuggle marijuana in the 1970s.
See full article at Variety »

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