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:: Our Lady Of The Assassins

In Colombia the townsfolk shoot fireworks when a shipment of cocaine reaches the US. It’s a gangster world of young men and guns set against the culture of writer Fernando and higher-class gay. Young boys as prostitutes become boyfriends of the older sugar daddy who returns to the country of his birth with a cynicism to die.

Fernando is not just a fag, for he has slept with ‘thousands’ of boys, he is as carefree with his homosexuality as he is paying for love via prostitution. At an aristocratic gay party he is introduced to Alexis whom he pays for sex. There are other young men as boyfriends of older men at the party. As a street kid, Alexis sees protection in a relationship with Fernando, and he remains as his lover and toyboy. Fernando's second lover, shares a young age and many similarities his story a mirror of Alexis. While exchange of love through words is common, a certain rape of situation stands before making this a love story.

The idea of prostitute turned love affair is a fantasy, yet within the poverty reality in Colombia this exists. There were male prostitutes that enjoyed heterosexual relationships. Alexis was given the option (of having a girlfriend, while prostituting) when Fernando paid him. A younger boy gets his girlfriend pregnant. If decidedly gay, these attractive young boys would surely enjoy a relationship with someone younger, if they were assured financial security. The difference between the age of Fernando and the boys is seen on many occasions, and Alexis is seen once to be Fernando‘s son. An absence of the pet name 'kid’ in the English translation used for Alexis on two occasions without acknowledgment may be an attempt to quash an incorrect interpretation of a love story.

The attraction between the ages and a love affair with youth may be confused with paedophilia. The difference of some thirty to forty years in the relationship between Fernando and Alexis/ Wilma serves as representatives of ages, a new and old world. While Fernando and Alexis speak in amazement of each other, it is apparent that in other cultures they would not meet. Fernando's is mystified by the rantings of youth.

Lap desolves of kissing and wanking illustrates a lovemaking scene. The movie has themes of sex but doesn't depict porn as seen with the heterosexual XXX through a motel television. Camera angles had occasion to highlights sexual accents of the male body with a waist mid shot of Fernando in the introduction and wide shots of virile bodies. This was a love story to adore the young bodies of Alexis and Wilmar.

There are few females in this picture, and those that were illustrated were babied and pregnant. A scene illustrates Alexis imitating a pregnant woman, while Fernando is rude to a female beggar. Clearly females were not important in this overpopulated Colombian world of crime, or a male gay story.

The Colombian hills are filled with small houses built on top of each other. The story is set in Medellin amongst the poverty of a struggling country. Beggars for food and money are a regular occurrence; with prostitution the only displayed occupation of a younger generation. Catholicism and the cathedral serve to highlight spirituality evident during the bleakness and cynicism. Fernando and Alexis / Wilma visit the church to pray, as do smack, crack, and morphine users who congregate the halls. A further update of spirituality introduces a mythology of blessed bullets and grim reaper warnings.

Within the relationship of Fernando and Alexis / Wilma we see a clash of old and new world values. The desires of the new world are confused with the comforts of materialism. The young may also be distracted by rock music, while Fernando likes silence and classical music. The attainment of appliances and brand names is an important part of a new world Colombian that holds an AIWA stereo at the height of the Whirlpool fridge, Calvin Klein and Reeboks.

The gang street life of Alexis and Wilmar allows for them to carry guns and kill easily. Alexis shoots those that seek to avenge him, and also those that cross his path. He shoots a punk for playing his music to annoy Fernando, those that argue with Fernando including two men on a train and a taxi driver. Death and murder are a reality that allows for a street sign to ask that people do not dump corpses. Fernando is chided at the hospital for dumping a corpse when he rushes one of the boys to casualty. Bodies are raided for organs, while a family may check the morgue photo album if a relative is missing. Fernando and his upper class have a similar familiarity with death and crime, and his money is said to stem from his sister who ‘offed’ her Mafia husband.

Camera steady follows the character of Fernando giving realism, via human shakes, to the cynicism he has of his beloved country Colombia. A surreal vision sequence of the avenging motorcycle riders is his fear of the killers. Close shots of the activities of the central characters are set against wide shots of the Colombian hills, where an outsider may be reminded that the numerous brown bricks that fill the landscape are houses, and this is a highly populated country. Other retrospectives serve to boldly consider the passing of time with time-lapse photography. A staccato focus will symbolise confusion at crucial moments.
Look out for motorcycle avengers, the pet dog / death lesson and addresses from the president.

Screening at Cinema Nova