August 08, 2010

To some, Pablo Escobar was a ruthless criminal. To others, a generous community member. To Sebastian Marroquin, he was one thing above all others ˆ a father. Debuting MONDAY, OCT. 4 (9:00-10:30 p.m. ET/PT), during Hispanic Heritage Month, the revealing documentary SINS OF MY FATHER tells the fascinating story of the notorious drug kingpin‚s life, death and legacy of suffering as seen through the eyes of his only son, while illuminating Columbia‚s violent recent history from a new perspective.

Directed and produced by Argentina- and New York-based filmmaker Nicolas Entel, SINS OF MY FATHER features deeply personal interviews with Sebastian Marroquin (formerly Juan Pablo Escobar) and his mother, Maria Victoria, and never-before-revealed home movies, photographs and audio recordings from the Escobar archive, painting a startling and intimate portrait of their family life. Marroquin, who changed his name and fled Colombia after his father‚s death, grapples with the impossible task of reconciling his conflicting images of his father ˆ the doting family man he still loves and the stone-hearted criminal who publicly threatened his enemies and their own families. In agreeing to appear in the film, Marroquin and his mother, Maria Victoria, break more than a decade of silence after living in virtual exile in Argentina, where Marroquin now works as a licensed architect. It is the first time either has spoken about life with Escobar since he was gunned down in 1993. The result is both a startlingly intimate portrait of years in the Escobar family and a front-row view of Marroquin’s reconciliation efforts toward the men whom his father orphaned 20 years ago.

The film also illuminates the recent history of Colombia, in particular its struggles to ward off the tag of "narco-state" while battling paramilitary groups bent on controlling the country through kidnapping, bombings and political assassination. While Pablo Escobar did not originate these guerilla tactics, he employed them by running the Medellin Cartel in the 1980s.

Marroquin recounts how his father was called the "Robin Hood of Colombia," who built soccer fields and a housing community for 5,000 people, and was even elected to the Colombian congress, came to be hunted by Colombian and U.S. intelligence agencies, and was shot to death on a rooftop in Medellin on Dec. 2, 1993.

Not content to simply recount history, Marroquin decides to reach out to the men orphaned by his father by writing a letter asking for their forgiveness. SINS OF MY FATHER chronicles his reconciliation efforts toward the sons of his father‚s most prominent murder victims, Columbian politicians and anti-drug crusaders Luis Carlos Galan and Rodrigo Lara Bonilla. His aim is to close wounds that extend across the history of the home they once shared in Colombia and to cease the cycle of revenge that has permeated the country's culture for decades.

Above all, the documentary is a personal story about what it was like to grow up the son of one of the 20th century’s most dangerous and charismatic gangsters, following a young man’s hope to transform vengeance and fear to peace and forgiveness.

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