- Maria Full of Grace
Maria Full of Grace
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Joshua Marston Produced by Paul S. Mezey Written by Joshua Marston Starring Catalina Sandino Moreno
John Álex Toro
Music by Leonardo Heiblum
Cinematography Jim Denault Editing by Anne McCabe
Distributed by Fine Line Features Release date(s) January 18, 2004 Running time 101 minutes Country Colombia
Maria Full of Grace (Spanish title: María llena eres de gracia, lit. "Maria, you are full of grace") is a 2004 joint Colombian-American film, written and directed by Joshua Marston, who won the Independent Spirit Award for Best First Screenplay. Although the movie depicts rural life in Colombia, it was actually filmed in Ecuador. The title is a triple-entendre: a reference to Mary, the Roman Catholic figure; "grace" is a slang name for heroin; and "grace" could also be the name of the baby.
17-year-old Colombian girl María Álvarez (Catalina Sandino Moreno) works in sweat shop-like conditions at a flower plantation. Her income helps support her family, including an unemployed sister who is a single mother.
María becomes pregnant by a man she does not love. After unjust treatment from her boss she quits work despite her family's vehement disapproval. On her way to Bogotá to find a new job, she is offered a position as a drug mule. Desperate, she accepts the risky offer, and swallows 62 wrapped pellets of heroin and flies to New York City with her immature friend Blanca.
María is almost caught by US customs who are suspicious of her movements. She avoids being X-rayed due to her pregnancy, and they ultimately believe her story that the father of her child paid for her air ticket. The traffickers collect María and several other mules. The mules are held hostage in a motel room until they pass all the drug pelletts. Fellow mule Lucy falls ill when a drug pellet apparently ruptures inside her. The traffickers cut her open to retrieve the drug pellets. María convinces Blanca to escape with her when the traffickers leave to dump Lucy's body. They abscond with the drugs they have passed.
María has nowhere to sleep and goes to Lucy's sister's house but doesn't reveal to the sister that Lucy is dead. Blanca soon joins her there. Eventually the sister finds out and throws them out. Blanca and María return the drugs to the traffickers and receive their money. María uses some of her drug money to send Lucy's body home to Colombia. They are about to board the plane back to Colombia when María decides to stay in the United States. Blanca returns home.
- Catalina Sandino Moreno as María Álvarez
- Virginia Ariza as Juana
- Yenny Paola Vega as Blanca
- Patricia Rae as Carla
- Rodrigo Sánchez Borhorquez as the supervisor
- Charles Albert Patiño as Felipe
- Wilson Guerrero as Juan
- Johanna Andrea Mora as Diana Álvarez
- Fabricio Suarez, Mateo Suarez as Pacho
- Evangelina Morales as Rosita
- Juana Guarderas as a pharmacist
- John Álex Toro as Franklin
- Jaime Osorio Gómez (also co-producer) as Javier
- Guilied Lopez as Lucy Díaz
- Victor Macias as Pellet Maker
The film was critically acclaimed amongst critics garnering a 97% approval rating on the aggregator site "Rotten Tomatoes". Its total worldwide gross stands at $12,594,630 ($6,529,624 at the American box office and $6,065,006 from other territories).
- Movies depicting Colombia
- List of Colombian films
- Balloon swallowing
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