Movies, Kidnappings, and Gay Bars
Maria Full Of Grace is the recipient of a Sundance award and the Berlin Film Festival Award. It deserves much more. The story of Maria Alvarez, a 17-year old Columbian girl, trying to find a better life, captivates the audience. There is so much passion in Maria. So much passion in fact, that she chooses to work as a mule, someone who smuggles drugs. The story shows us how Colombian coca leaves become New York cocaine.
The movies focuses on the "mules," mostly young and uneducated women who swallow dozens of plastic-wrapped pellets and then board planes, smuggling the drugs into the United States.
The movie, almost all in Spanish with sub-titles, is a must see. As I was sitting in the posh Angelika Film Center I couldn't help but think of the many immigrants who cross the border illegally ever day. The only contraband most of them smuggle is their bodies. They come in search of a better life. So, did Maria take the easy way out, by smuggling drugs - because the suppliers gave her a passport and money? I don't know. Was smuggling drugs her only option, probably not, but I don't think that's the point of the movie.
A couple of weeks ago I was in El Refugio, Queretaro, about 10 minutes from Arroyo Seco, visiting my Grandmother. The town this part of the year is bustling with people. Most of them have gone home for the yearly Fiesta. Most of them, now live in the United States. And most of them, got here illegally. I was talking to my Aunt about her crossing experience not to long ago. She had my young cousin at the time with her. She said she knew of no other option.
This weekend I got a call from my pops. He needed some computer help. Towards the end of our conversation, he tells me that my cousin from Monterrey is going to McAllen. His uncle has been kidnapped. The kidnappers are asking for $300, 000. Sounds like something out of the movies, huh? It's true though. Right now, the family is trying to figure out what they're going to do. More to come...
Saturday night one of my friends suggested visiting a bar I had never been to. My friends don't know how to give directions, so finding Minc was a challenge. We finally found it after driving for nearly 1 hour. A man, dresses as a woman, greeted us. Inside the dj was spinning some cool tunes, and the guy to girl ratio was 99 to 1 - not by accident. It was a pretty good time. This was my first visit to a gay bar since I lived in Austin. I definitely found this bar much more laid back than most of the bars I've been to lately. We'll probably go back there, but maybe next time we'll take more than 3 girls.