Dirty Hands, Warm Hearts: Drug Trafficking’s Human Casualties in Manos Sucias

No one’s hands are clean in Josef Kubota Wladyka’s Manos sucias (USA/Colombia, 2014). Not the hands of the somber Jacobo (Jarlín Martínez) or his fresh-faced younger brother Delio (Cristian Advíncula), both of whom get involved in drug smuggling as a means to elevate themselves out of the poverty that surrounds them in the violent coastal city of Buenaventura. Certainly not the hands of ruthless drug lords, nor those of the seemingly innocent Jorge (Manuel David Riascos), a boy willing to do anything to save his ailing grandmother. Not even our hands are clean, dear viewers, now that this film has given us a glimpse of how the illegal drug trade, fueled in large part by Western appetites, affects some of our planet’s most desperate citizens.

Continue reading “Dirty Hands, Warm Hearts: Drug Trafficking’s Human Casualties in Manos Sucias”

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Dirty Hands, Warm Hearts: Drug Trafficking’s Human Casualties in Manos Sucias

An unembellished look at the Colombian drug trade; a review of Josef Kubota Wladyka’s Manos Sucias

Manos Sucias translates into English as “dirty hands.” Literal meaning can be applied to those words, but unsurprisingly the greater significance is figurative; in movie terms, such gestures often portend overstatement that’s easily exacerbated by a filmmaker’s youthful intensity, but if imperfect, Josef Kubota Wladyka’s first feature benefits from restraint and economy. It’s a largely satisfying debut holding promise for the future.

Continue reading “An unembellished look at the Colombian drug trade; a review of Josef Kubota Wladyka’s Manos Sucias”

An unembellished look at the Colombian drug trade; a review of Josef Kubota Wladyka’s Manos Sucias