Thursday, March 17, 2011

Don't Blame Hollywood!

Shoot 'em up!
This evening, I ran across this television crew filming a new telenovela - to be called 'La Mariposa' - about drug cartels. They looked like the prohibition-era Chicago mobsters.

Colombians often blame Hollywood for perpetuating an image of Colombia full of drugs and violence while the Colombian government tries to sell the country as a tourist paradise.

The object of our affection, a loaded armored car.
But Colombian media also do their part in scarring their nation's image. Recently, government officials, newspapers and others have criticized the country's TV producers for glorifying narcotraffickers and painting Colombian history as more violent than it actually was. (The country has suffered some five civil wars, as well as huge riots, insurgencies, etc etc.- so is fictional violence needed?)

The neighbors love it! It's even better than television. 
Newspapers complain that the miniseries and soap operas will lure kids into criminal lives. Television producers respond that 'it's art'.

Cartel de los Sapos: Guns, money, cars, beautiful women - what more could a mobster ask for?
In fact, sex and violence sell, here and in the U.S. And television and the movies happily and profitably provide them, with few moral compunctions about the consequences. And Colombians do eat up violence - as tho real-life didn't have enough of it. The country still has an armed conflict in remote regions and a homicide rate far higher than that in the developed world.

The gunfight over, the casualties rise again. It doesn't happen this way in real life. 

By Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours

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