Movie Maria Full Grace a 2004 Joint Essay

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movie Maria Full Grace a 2004 joint Colombian-American drama film written directed Joshua Marston,

The principle concept demonstrated dramatically and quite effectively by first-time director Joshua Marston in his 2004 film Maria Full of Grace is that the drug world merely functions as one of the effects of the overall economic system that currently governs the planet. This system, of course, is predominantly capitalist and, as such, needs someone to capitalize on. In the film, that capitalist victim is a character named Maria, and a couple of her friends who are forced into positions in which they transport drugs to try to overthrow the ills of poverty. This concept represents the principle ideology in this film. Its conception of good and evil, then, hinges on the ills of this capitalist economic system that impoverishes and exploits people. The true villains are the ones who keep the system in place, while the heroes who attempt to pursue good are the ones who simply try to surmount those evils.

Viewed through this lens, then, Maria Full of Grace presents an unconventional morality and depictions of good and evil. Maria and her friends, who are transporting drugs from Columbia to New York, are law breakers -- conventional morality would render them as evil. Yet they do so simply to overcome issues of wanton poverty and the capitalist system that produces it, which makes their action inherently good and renders them heroines. This fact is alluded to in the following quotation, which denotes that in this film "The stereotypical image of a Columbian drug dealer, a handsome Al Pacino type in a slick suit with a machine gun, has been replaced with the terrified faces of women" (Dermansky, no date). The fact that these women, a reference to Maria and her friends, are described as "terrified " alludes to the fact that they certainly are not evil, they are scared, and they are scared because they are attempting to do some good and earn a little money for benign purposes.

The true evil in this film, then, is the capitalist forces that ultimately exploit drug runners such as Maria and her friends.
Those forces are demonstrated within the film by the supervisor at Maria's low wage job, where she removes thorns from roses (Thomsson 2004) with bandaged fingers, who is vigilant to ensure his workers rarely rest and produce the maximum amount of output for the company. This company and its demeaning working conditions is one of the reasons Maria is impoverished, particularly when one views the fact that the funds she earns there are not nearly enough to take care of her family. In fact, Maria's family actually contributes to the negative aspects of capitalism. Her grandmother, mother, sister, and her sister's baby contribute significant economic pressure on Maria to earn a living not just for herself but for them as well. This pressure contributes to Maria's impetus to commit criminal activity and emphasizes the fact that the true evil is the exploitative economic system, which the following quotation explains.

Marston has made a film that understands and accepts poverty without feeling the need to romanticize or exaggerate it…he shows us how evil things happen because of economic systems, not because villains gnash their teeth and hog the screen. Hollywood simplifies the world for moviegoers by pretending evil is generated by individuals, not institutions (Ebert, 2004).

In this respect, the capitalist institution functions as the primary evil in the film.

In much the same way that Maria is a drug dealer and is not evil, there is a degree of moral ambivalence portrayed about the other film's drug dealers as well. They also are simply looking to survive in a vicious capitalist environment. This fact is typified by the pair of Columbians in New York who receive Maria and their friends and wait for them to pass the drugs out of their system. Sure, they engage in gross behavior such as cutting one of the girls open to procure the drugs. But, they only do this because one of the capsules of heroin she had swallowed inadvertently exploded,….....

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