Son of Escobar pleas for peace in Sundance film

Fri Jan 29, 2010 12:41pm EST
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By Bob Tourtellotte

PARK CITY, Utah (Reuters) - When you are a boy and your father steals money from the Monopoly board game just to beat you, you have a problem. When your father also is Colombian drug kingpin Pablo Escobar, you have a real problem.

But Juan Pablo Escobar never knew anything but love for his father, who was gunned down in 1993 by government troops on a rooftop in the cocaine capital of Medellin when Juan Pablo was 16.

Documentary "Sins of My Father" has fascinated audiences this week at the Sundance Film Festival with its tale of Juan Pablo and sons of Colombian politicians who are burdened with their fathers' legacies.

Juan Pablo, who lives in Argentina under the alias Sebastian Marroquin, still cannot return permanently to his homeland. While he once vowed to avenge his father's death by killing his family's enemies, he now says he wants peace.

Yet, to hear "Sins of My Father" director Nicolas Entel tell it, few people in Colombia, where the movie has already played, want to hear talk of reconciliation.

"Colombia's establishment -- for lack of a better word -- is not ready to have a serious conversation about Pablo Escobar because the connections between Pablo Escobar and politicians and businessmen and the powerful in Colombia have never been investigated," Entel said.

The director, who is from Argentina and lives in New York, said the movie sold about 40,000 tickets in Colombia, a sum he called respectable. It received mixed comments initially, he said, before coming under attack in the media.

"Sins of My Father" will soon play in Spain, Germany, France and Britain. For U.S. audiences, it will air on cable TV network HBO, serving up a lesson in the culture of the South American country that receives billions of dollars from the United States in mostly military aid to fight drug trafficking and other ills.   Continued...

<p>Sebastian Marroquin, son of deceased Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar Gaviria, speaks during an interview in Buenos Aires, November 6, 2009. REUTERS/Enrique Marcarian</p>