“Life doesn´t end here.” – Andrés Escobar Saldarriaga, after scoring the “auto goal” at the World Cup, 1994.
Directed by Jeff and Michael Zimbalist. (Official selection in Cannes, Tribeca and Los Angeles Film Festival). Many fans of The Godfather may have found themselves imagining being a part of the Corleone family, swim in the sea of endless power and fortune, magnificence and elegance, create a legacy of such a great magnitude, so that one could get away with whatever one wanted at the precise moment desired. The Corleones didn´t have a choice. They shared the same last name, same legacy, same blessing and same misfortunes. But what would´ve happened if then, there has been another Corleone, somewhere in the state of New York, one that had nothing to do with the Italian family? A heavy burden to carry, a name is. A name of such big significance that cannot be ignored.
Andrés Escobar’s destiny served his last name, unfortunately, right. “The Gentleman of Football” is the most famous footballer in the history of Colombia, and his success came when Pablo Escobar´s drug trafficking regime had come to its climax, and the situation in Colombia had already exploded into a civil war between cartels (Cali and Medellín). In the early 90’s, Colombia managed to be number ten in the list of the best football teams in the world, and it was not only thanks to the incredible players, but most importantly, thanks to the big contribution from the “Lords of Cocaine”, whose passion for football was such that they would do anything to make their national team win, literally anything. Colombia was in desperate need of something to change its reputation in front of the whole world. Football became the only option to raise the name of Colombia way up high, and Pablo Escobar´s money and support was the perfect little push. Pablo’s cover as the legal millionaire businessman was already revealed, but the people loved him, they owed him so much. That, and the fact that his life was on the line, was the reason why Andrés Escobar couldn´t refuse an invitation along with the rest of the National Team to play at Pablo’s prison “The Cathedral” -the one he had built for himself. This documentary portrays such a tragedy –one of Shakespearean proportions- that a young and respectable footballer shared the same last name as the most feared drug lord of all time. The Two Escobars is about the rise and fall (painfully unfortunate, if we talk about Andres) of two men, with different inclinations but same passion: Football. And it was luck, and only luck, what made football turn against the 27 years old Andrés when he scored an “auto goal”, precisely when his life and the rest of the team’s was at stake.
The Two Escobars, with a thriller-like treatment, is a powerful, heart-wrenching documentary that unveils, among other things, the indescribable pressure, consequence of the many dead threats that the National Team of Colombia suffered just about to go out to the football field, on their way to the the World Cup in the United States in 1994, and how they would lose the love for the game, and would never be able to recover from it even to this day. Colombia lost their biggest hope in those terrible times, even with the drug lord already brought down, and football lost whom could´ve still been the noblest knight in the field.