Boycott Colombiana!

So I guess as a Colombian I am supposed to be pissed about a movie that looks so kick ass I cannot wait to see it.

The name of the film is Colombiana… and here is a snip of the movie plot…

Zoe Saldana plays a young woman who witnessed her parents’ murder as a child in Bogotá and grows up to be a stone-cold assassin. She works for her uncle as a hitman by day, but her personal time is spent engaging in vigilante murders that she hopes will lead her to her ultimate target: the monster responsible for her parents’ death

My Mom, Bea and I discussed the film over dinner on Saturday. We laughed and concluded that it will be cool to see a “Colombiana” portrayed as an all kind of baddass assassin.

I have always tried to be careful when Colombia is portrayed in a public light. I even saw the Colombian coffee growers being sue happy over a cartoon as somewhat of a publicity stunt. Boycotting a movie over the use of the name of the country and location seems ridiculous. As ridiculous as a Mexican saying that they would not see “El Marichi” with Antonion Banderas.

Zoe Saldana is all kinds of cool. You might not recognize her, but she was the main chick in avatar and also played the crap out of Uhura. However, I though she was cool since she played Eva in Center Stage… don’t hate, watch the movie is actually a good movie. I want to see her more as an action Hero than Angelina Jolie… and she was one of my favorite actresses in the past, but I think Zoe will be awesome as an assassin. That she is Colombian is no big deal to me at all.

I have come to expect Hollywood to portray Colombia as a place that you have to ride with chickens and pigs both in the plane and public transportation to get around. Heck, even “Colombian-Americans” think that way the first time they go visit the country if they are going for the first time.

If anyone watches this movie and it cements for them their view of Colombia, well, we are dealing with the same level of intelligence of someone that thinks every Russian is in the KGB and thinks that Meesha was in Argentina simply looking for other secret operatives.

Its a movie people, go see it if you like action. Try to be entertained by it. I am going to see it, I don’t expect anyone with half a brain to ever think of Colombia as a one dimensional place that is all about violence. Isn’t that place Mexico now? I keed I keed!

18 Responses to Boycott Colombiana!

  1. Mmmm.. what I’m saying is that IF that’s the only thing they’re showing… how do you expect our country’s image to be somehow different?
    If the good things are not shown here, i.e. the under-20 world cup, or the closing ceremony… which was NOT shown, only the final game; and instead you’re showing the most gruesome spots… honestly, do you really believe that’s not going to affect how our country’s seen.

    It’s the same with movies where the US, the same thing happens! is portrayed as the “land of opportunities”, that’s why so many 3rd world people come to this country, because they want to live next door to the stars and be millionaires, and fight Godzilla, and… blah… blah… blah… you know that’s fiction, they don’t.

    So, my questions are, where does the “entertainment by fiction” line begins and the “education” line begins? do they blend?

  2. They do not Blend at all. To be educated, you watch a documentary, to be entertained you watch a Hollywood blockbuster.

    People don’t go to the movies to be educated about other cultures… if they do, and that is all the culture they have… (estan jodidos)

    Seriously, as Colombians we cannot expect people to learn about our country from a movie. I started a site a long time ago and none of my Colombian friends that used the web at the time wanted to help. The site still there, ready for someone to start putting more content into it.

    http://colombia.logtar.com/

    That was one of my ideas and it just never took off and got more contributors.

    I take people to eat Colombian food. I tell them about the country, you can shut me up about it. I love my country and my culture, but I am not going to put everyone on the same level as sheep that think Hollywood is out to educate them. That is pretty sad.

  3. You and me, and some others know that difference, movies don’t educate… they show distorted versions of reality. Most people don’t, and that’s why they are the way they are… stupid.
    I don’t want to pretend to be better than everybody else, it’s just that, really! it makes me mad that people don’t take the time to see farther than Hollywood.

    Each Colombian living out of the country has friends, yes, we all talk about our country, we discuss economy and politics, we cook Colombian food for them (brave people, our friends) but… how good would OUR personal effect be if movies like that reach millions?!?!

    Mmmmm????

  4. Our personal effect does LOTS for the image of our country. Stupid people are immune to common sense, trust me, I have tried.

    There is nothing we can do to change the mind of someone that takes movies as facts. They are perfectly content on their own little world, and it is better at least for me, to be able to identify those people quickly and run the other way. My friends might not know everything there is to know about Colombia, but I can assure you that they know more than you “Average Joe.”

    And it also works the other way around Mafe. How many times have you been in Colombia and they do think this place is just like in the movies… I hope that people know that to fight Godzilla they have to go to Japan!

  5. Sweet words of encouragement guy… and, as you can see, I honestly don’t know much about “those” type of movies… was I trying to say KingKong instead of Godzilla?
    No wait! Godzilla DID come to NYC, in the new movie!!
    :P

    Anyway, let’s just say I, maybe THAT’S what’s pissing me off so much… it’s not only the bad image for the country, it’s that we all make such an effort to show people how it is (and to learn from another cultures) that it makes me maaaaaad that they just… well… crap on all of our hard work.

    And yes, about ignorants, we can run the other way, the problem is… there’s too many!!!! :)

  6. Exactly, there are too many and the easier they are to identify the better! Shortcuts are a great thing.

    I know what a Colombiana really is, its the Tastiest Cream Soda in the world!

  7. I searched every parijja for operatives but didn’t find any who could understand me

  8. actually the word is parilla, but in Argentina it’s pronounced “parijja”

  9. Meesha is so international now he even confuses people that speak the language too. Piraja made me think of something completely different…. Piruja, Pitufa, I will let you find it yourself.

  10. Everyone knows what “Los Pitufos” means. I was just pointing out that the one Spanish rule I know (how to pronounce the word “pollo” is turned on it’s head in Argentina. Like it wasn’t confusing enough.

  11. Eventually, you will learn that the rest of the Spanish speaking countries don’t pay too much attention to Argentinian rules… trust me che, trust me.

  12. I know about the “che” thing too. Next time I am going, I am taking a Spanish class.

  13. Whatever you do, don’t take the class from an argentinean or a Spaniard.
    Their way of talking is extremely “exclusive”, meaning, their the only ones that understand themselves.
    :)

  14. Whoa! I didn’t say it was cool. I don’t agree with associating Colombia with anything negative or violent. I do, however, believe having el Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores write an official letter is just too much.

    And I still don’t know why the movie is called Colombiana. That’s how interested in it I am…

  15. Well… in my mom’s words:
    “You have to set a precedent to let people know that you are serious about stuff”. I don’t know about you, but it has worked for me many, many times.

    Anyway, I don’t like war/drug cartels/blood movies and I don’t agree with the movie’s name, at all!

    This is something that happened to me yesterday while talking to some friends, some are mexican, spanish, cuban, venezuelan and they think that I am making a very big deal out of it.
    That is, until I asked them what if the movie’s title was “Mexicana”, “Española”, “Cubana”, “Venezolana”… and THEN they realize hot uncomfortable it felt.

  16. I think it’s naive to believe that these movies are not harmful to Colombians. They propagate the same stereotype over and over and are able to do so reaching millions of people. In real-life terms this affects tourism, foreign investment in the country, and the quality of life of Colombians living abroad and facing this discrimination brought on by such a limited depiction of the country. In a perfect world people are able to distinguish fact from Hollywood. This is far from a perfect world. We as Colombians should demand that depictions of the country are done so in a responsible manner. The director picked the character based on his stereotypes about the country. It is ridiculous to expect Colombians to stay quiet and put up with that. We do have a voice, don’t we?

  17. We do have a voice Meredith, but the reality is that it falls in deaf ears.

    I honestly think that our voices are better used to talk about the positive things about our country, not trying to make people see that a movie is about entertainment.

    I have shared the “Colombia es Pasion” video campaigns with my friends. I have also; like I mentioned before, tried to start a website to write articles about the positive side of Colombia with little to no traction. We do have a voice, but not too many are committed to use it in a consistent basis.

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