Controversy over “Colombiana” – across UK cinemas from September 9th

From Luc Besson, the director of Leon & The Transporter,comes ‘Colombiana’, the latest Hollywood thriller to arrive to the UK. When nine year old Cataleya witnesses her parents’ murder in Bogota, Colombia 1992, she escapes and takes refuge in the United States with Emilio, her gangster uncle. 

‘Colombiana’ then follows her career progression to hit woman, who leaves a gruesome calling card on her victim’s chests as a message to her parents’ assassins who she is determined will suffer for their crime – even if it means losing everything she loves. A gripping tale of murder and revenge.

Criticism and controversy accompany the film, with protests against its labeling of Colombia as a source of violence – this in addition to the film’s name, a seeming generalisation of a nation. Colombia, though, fights its national TV ratings wars throughout the year with numerous soap operas and series glorifying drug dealers and gangsters (national TV networks RCN & Caracol being the major culprits).

Thus, to what extent should protest be aimed at “Colombiana”? Should the cleansing of national stereotypes commence from within Colombian TV itself? But most importantly, will UK cinema goers leave screenings of “Colombiana” with stronger confirmations of a violent Colombia or will it instigate viewers to explore the accuracy of the reputation this country has dragged with it for the past half-century – considering we all know well Colombia has many more & better things to offer and show than violence and drug trafficking. Your comments on the topic are welcome below.

“Colombiana” will be screened across UK cinemas from September 9th. 

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