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4.4 out of 5 stars
Maria Full Of Grace [DVD]
Format: DVD|Change
Price:£7.94+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime

on 10 March 2014
I have hesitated a bit between 3 and 4 stars on this one. The film is fine, the main part of the script is fine if the last third a bit weak but the character/background story building is I feel what really gets the film down.
There are two sides to the story:
- The process of becoming a mule (and the dreadful experiences one may go through in the process). I have never been a mule so I cannot vouch for the exactness of the description but it feels believable and achieves its goal of both disgusting us (as members of a society which makes this a possibility) and making us like the character.
- The life story of the main character, which is a really a bit of a cliche. I won't spoil the film by saying too much about it, but I cannot help feeling (yet, I have not checked) that this has been written by an US writer with an US point of view. Here the film, in my opinion is a lot weaker.

All in all, I do not discourage watching the film and I do not regret doing so myself; on top of it all, it is pretty cheap and as such definitely worth the money.
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VINE VOICETOP 500 REVIEWERon 31 January 2008
This film proved to be something of an education for me. Having never been involved in drugs, I've not really thought about the poor saps who bring them into the country (be it here in the UK or over the pond, or anywhere). This film uses documentarial first hand experiences to build a film which humanises the faceless world of the drugs mule.

The story of Maria, the young woman (17) exploited in the workplace and overly depended on by her family for her wages is gripping. Pregnant and desperate to escape the existence she has in order to find life, she finds herself and her friend involved in the ugly world of drug trafficking. It's from this point on that we get to see how the underworld can seem friendly enough to begin with, but the danger of the situation becomes clear when an off the cuff remark about `paying her family a visit' (and consequently naming them) is made - the film is a stomach clencher from this point on as you desperately will Maria to not come to any harm.

This is a film which allows us to see the human story behind the illegal substances on the streets. The traffickers aren't evil, they are poor people being exploited and too scared `get out'. The most disturbing scene in the film involves a trafficker called Lucy, and depicts what happens if one of the pellets opens up inside the stomach - although nothing graphic is shown, you are left in no doubt as to what has happened. This film certainly does not glamorise the drugs world.

The film threw me slightly, I knew what the film was about (it's all in the synopsis on the back of the DVD cover) - but the cover picture initially looked to me, to be depicting a scene of holy communion, the title of the film almost enforces this. But after watching this, I see it another way now.

In a nutshell: This film isn't about drugs, well, it is, but the driving force of the film is Maria and her journey. The drugs do play a pivotal role though, but not in a traditional sense. There are no scenes of drug taking - the impact of the film is how the people who carry the drugs are made to feel looked after, but soon come to realise that they mean nothing to the people pulling the strings. They are simply a carry-case, the contents of their stomachs is what is of value. A moving film, well written/directed by Joshua Marston, and with an absolutely fantastic performance by Catalina Sandino Moreno to make Maria truly believable.
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on 19 September 2010
Maria, full of drugs.

I watched this film in the USA a few years ago and I was totally captured by this film, and I stayed up until 2am to finish watching it. It features a young Columbian girl, who needs some money and is sucked into being a mule for the drugs trade, and she ends up in the USA (NY). I have worked in many of the poorer countries as well as the USA, so I can empathise with her plight. The US immigration scene did not look very realistic to me, as I have been through that many times. It was filmed in Ecuador not Columbia.
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on 19 December 2015
This was a very good film; it shows the dangers for young people of becoming a drug mule.
It tells the story of a young woman who is drawn into smuggling drugs into USA>
Although she survives, others do not.
This film would be a useful teaching aid for young people.
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on 16 January 2012
loved all the details about being a drug mule , at times this is not easy to watch , loved the scenes in colombia BUT found this film became rather silly and like a soap opera when Maria arrived in america . maria began to annoy me ,she had a beautiful face but seemed to expect from all around her , I gradually lost sympathy and found the ending poor.
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on 30 January 2018
super excellent.
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on 21 July 2017
you must watch this true movie good cast this really happend
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on 22 September 2012
As a Spanish teacher I share this film, among others, with my students (be aware of the age restriction). However, it should have Spanish subtitles...otherwise you only focus on the scripts and miss out the audio...I find it a big mistake
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on 7 October 2013
Excellent film, real masterwork South America style. Extremly interesting. Catalina Sandino Moreno is brilliant. Absolutely worth of five stars. Powerful.
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on 1 June 2013
I really enjoyed this film, which I used to help improve my spoken Spanish, i'm going to buy another film soon as I find this a good way to help me in my Spanish degree course. I would definitely recommend it to family and friends etc.
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