Official | Update : 13.02.18 . 11:37 AM

The Two Escobars at the Cinéma de la plage

Jeff Zimbalist

Jeff Zimbalist

Football makes its return to the Croisette with this evening’s screening of the documentary, The Two Escobars by Jeff and Michael Zimbalist at 9:30 p.m. at the Cinéma de la plage (plage Macé). Some information and an interview with the film-makers.

The Two Escobars depicts the tragic destiny of the footballer, Andrès Escobar, who was murdered after scoring an own goal which lead to Columbia’s elimination from the 1994 World Cup. This story is told alonthat of the notorious drug lord Pablo Escobar, the “inventor” of narco-football. The documentary takes the form of an investigation into the complex links between these two worlds.
This film is a far cry from the much more light-hearted approach of Ken Loach in Looking for Eric, presented in Competition last year. In 2008, Emir Kusturica showed his documentary Maradona by Kusturica Out of Competition. Another documentary, but in a radically different style, Zidane, a Portrait of the 21st century, by Douglas Gordon and Philippe Parreno was also presented Out of Competition in 2006. Whatever your preferred style of film, in this World Cup year, The Two Escobars is more topical than ever.


Interview with Jeff and Michael Zimbalist

How did you become interested in this subject?

Michael: Jeff and I were working in Columbia making a feature film about the murder of a union worker when ESPN approached us and ask us if we were interested in directing one of their 30-minute documentaries in a series covering the last 30 years in sport. They were interested in the interaction between sport and society in Latin America, and a friend mentioned the murder of Andrés Escobar in 1994 which we all clearly remembered. We soon discovered that in order to tell this story, we had to understand an absurd and terrifying movement known as "narco-soccer" or the close relationship between millionaire drug lords and the soccer teams they support. This story really resonated with us.

When did you decide that it was going to be a full-length movie?
Jeff: Initially people really didn’t want to talk about this black period in Columbia´s past. But after  building up relationships with them, they started to open up… With this access that they gave us and all the footage we had shot, we went back to ESPN with a rough cut that was twice the duration of their original assignment, and they said : “this definitely deserves to be a 100-minute movie”.

Is narco-soccer still a reality in 2010?
Michael: the simple fact that the people we met agreed to talk to us, whereas this subject was quite taboo before, shows how much things have changed.

Is this your first time in Cannes?
Michael: It’s our first time at the Festival and it’s amazing! We were just saying the other day that in addition to how beautiful it is here, it’s also a real community of filmmakers. Being among the “crème de la crème” is quite an honor.

Can you tell us something about your next project ?
Michael : Sure, it’s a 3D IMAX film we’re doing with Quincy Jones Productions. Now the only thing that´s left to do is to go to Brazil and shoot it!



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