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5 Best Colombian Movies About Drug Lords, Cartels and War

Updated on August 30, 2013

This is my list of the 5 best Colombian movies that I recommend to watch. Throughout the movies the Colombian conflict and drug cartels are always present no matter the location or time the story is based on.

Los Colores de la Montaña

Los Colores de la Montaña original poster
Los Colores de la Montaña original poster | Source

#1 Colors Of The Mountain - Los Colores De La Montaña

Manuel, Julian and “Dim Light” (nickname for an albino) are three young friends from a small village in rural Colombia. One day, after playing soccer near school, their ball ends in a minefield. Playing soccer was their only escape from the harsh reality of the Colombian conflict and rescuing it will become an adventure where they´ll learn the hard reality they live in is no fairy tale.

Narrated from the eyes of the children involved in the conflict, between communist guerrillas, rightist paramilitaries, and government soldiers, their innocent vision of life sometimes contrasts over the irrational and cruel acts of their elders.

The only way we have to understand the armed conflict is through the partial blasts of news media told by the mouths of news anchors and politicians that have never left their homes by force or forced to join one of the subversive groups.

This film portraits everything that happens before the real consequences of the conflict begins.

Director: Carlos Cesar Arbelaez

Release Year: 2011

International Awards:

Silver Taiga – Moscow International Film Festival 2011

Kutxa Award – International Film Festival San Sebastian, Spain 2010

Award for Film In Construction – Rencontres Cinémas D´amérique Latine de Toulouse, France 2010

The Colors Of The Mountain Trailer

Rodrigo D No Futuro

Original poster from Rdrigo D No Futuro
Original poster from Rdrigo D No Futuro | Source

Buy At Amazon Rodrigo D No Future

#2 Rodrigo D No Future - Rodrigo D No Futuro

Rodrigo is not even 20. Standing on the last floor of an eccentric building in Medellin he prepares to jump, time stops, and sees everything his life has been so far.

Being a teenager in the late 80’s was a difficult enough time in a city turned to mayhem by drug lord Pablo Escobar. Rodrigo is not only young, but lives in one of the most dangerous slums of Medellin. He dreams o becoming a rock n’ roll drummer, but there`s no future for teenagers like him in a time when you kill or get killed.

Rodrigo D portrays the reality of the hardest decade the city of Medellin has gone through. A film shot with barely the essentials that can be considered a real life documentary. The actors where natural habitants from the slums who even before the film were screened many of them died in violent actions, just like the characters they portrayed. There’s no better film to understand the drama and consequences of the Cartel era lived in the 80’s and 90’s in the city of Medellin.

Here are some comment reviews from Amazon:

"This movie will make you think more than any other movies, with the possible exception of Baraka. You may not feel comfortable with the movie, but that is because it displays a reality that most North Americans could not concieve. I place this movie in my 10 time favorites." - A Customer

"This movie is one of the best Colombian movies I have ever seen. You may find this movie interesting because it shows how the people who lives in the poor neighbourhoods around Medellin had to look for a life in the past dark years where the drugs played an important role..." - Javier Diaz Rozo

Director: Victor Gaviria

Release Date: 1990

Rodrigo D No Future Drum Scene

Carne de tu Carne Movie Scenes

Brothers eatnig flesh from a dead body
Brothers eatnig flesh from a dead body | Source

Buy in Amazon Flesh of your Flesh

#3 Flesh Of Your Flesh - Carne De Tu Carne

In 1956 during the military dictatorship of Rojas Pinilla, a military truck loaded with dynamite explodes destroying hundreds of houses in downtown Cali. A wealthy family who suffers from the explosion escapes to the countryside until things get back to normal. During this time the family receives the visit of a girl, family member living in United States, that with her half-brother find an Indian treasure with a curse that turns them into demons that live in the jungle, committing incest and stealing babies from local villages.

“Carne de tu Carne” is part of a new movie gender created in Colombia known as Tropical Goth, a contradictory combination between the cold elements of horror movies and the exuberance of the tropic scenery and customs. Filmed in the rural areas near the city of Cali, capturing the amazing views of the valley and its surrounding tropical jungles, the movie fuzes many of the urban myths and legends from the country side.

The “madremonte” or lady of the jungle is a spirit of the jungle that attacks weary travelers to eat them after satisfying her sexual appetite. Other local myths make their appearance like the leprechauns known to steal babies and the “guaca”, a small treasure Indians used to bury with their dead and thought to carry a hex. All of these local elements fuse to create one of the best horror films in the history of Colombia.

Director: Carlos Jose Mayolo

Release Date: 1983

Flesh of your Flesh Trailer

Rosario Tijeras

Original poster from Rosario Tijeras movie
Original poster from Rosario Tijeras movie | Source

#4 Rosario Tijeras – Rosario Scissors

When Rosario was a young girl growing in the slums of Medellin her stepfather tried to rape her, she took the kitchen scissors and cut his member off. As a grown women Rosario is a beautiful assassin at the service of the Drug Cartels during the 80`s. One night she meets two young men of the rich neighborhoods in the city with whom she begins a story about passion, murder and drug trafficking which was so common during the time. At the end, Rosario will die.

Filmed in 2005 by a Spanish filmmaker that loved the book, this is a film thought to portray all of the common elements surrounding the culture in Medellin during the drug cartel era in the 80`s. It’s a story of the vices young people had with dreams of getting rich fast and escaping their impoverish homes at any cost.

Director: Emilio Maille

Release Date: 2005

Rosario Scissors Trailer

Apocalipsur

Original movie poster for Apocalipsur
Original movie poster for Apocalipsur | Source

#5 Apocalipsur - Apocalipsouth

This is the story of a group of friends from different social classes of Medellin city in 1991. A son of a drug dealer, the son of a prosecutor judge, the wild girlfriend and a high class kid that ended up in a wheelchair after a lost bullet in a nightclub compose this colorful group of friends.

Pablo Escobar, the most famous drug lord in the history of Colombia, is fighting a direct war with the Colombian government and rival drug cartels. He offers 500 dollars for each dead cop creating tension in the city with all the violence erupting at every corner.

Apocalipsur narrates each of the characters stories and how they came to be together, while flaco`s friends ride to the airport to pick him up after a forced exile to London by the mafia who threaten his mother`s life. A very colorful movie that tells different versions of the reality lived during the 80`s and beginnings of the 90`s in Medellin.

Director: Javier Mejia Osorio

Release Date: 2005

Take Your Pick

Which of these films would you like to watch?

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Apocalipsur - Movie Trailer

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    • David Trujillo profile image
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      David Trujillo Uribe 2 years ago from Medellin, Colombia

      Most are fun to watch. Soon I will create another article with all of them. Really good ones: Sumas y Restas, El Rey (first drug dealer in Colombia),

    • David Trujillo profile image
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      David Trujillo Uribe 2 years ago from Medellin, Colombia

      yes, that was in the 90´s, but I can´t say horrible stuff has stopped happening. In the present thousands of Colombians have been thrown out from Venezuela because their president is racists. Children, old women, broken families

    • David Trujillo profile image
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      David Trujillo Uribe 2 years ago from Medellin, Colombia

      Did you watch it?

    • David Trujillo profile image
      Author

      David Trujillo Uribe 2 years ago from Medellin, Colombia

      Hard to find on the internet though

    • David Trujillo profile image
      Author

      David Trujillo Uribe 2 years ago from Medellin, Colombia

      Did you watch it?

    • David Trujillo profile image
      Author

      David Trujillo Uribe 2 years ago from Medellin, Colombia

      Have you watched it yet? Another one is La vendedora de Rosas

    • profile image

      lisa 2 years ago

      well thanks for all the tips will enjoy watching them

    • David Trujillo profile image
      Author

      David Trujillo Uribe 3 years ago from Medellin, Colombia

      You are right. Most of the movies listed there are not praising the Drug Dealers but mostly talking about the issues they generate.

    • Dania Razzak profile image

      Foyjur Razzak 3 years ago from Dhaka

      Mafia and drug dealers are spoiling the world. 500 usd to kill a cop and raising in the city; are they human? What they do in this lovely planet?

    • Sandyspider profile image

      Sandy Mertens 3 years ago from Wisconsin, USA

      Thanks.

    • David Trujillo profile image
      Author

      David Trujillo Uribe 3 years ago from Medellin, Colombia

      I recommend to start with Colors of the mountain Sandy

    • Sandyspider profile image

      Sandy Mertens 3 years ago from Wisconsin, USA

      I will have to check some of these out.

    • profile image

      Benjamin Chege 4 years ago

      Hi David Trujillo. I am a brave person and will watch them till I am done. Thank you for the guidance.

    • David Trujillo profile image
      Author

      David Trujillo Uribe 4 years ago from Medellin, Colombia

      Rodrigo D and Flesh of my Flesh are my cult favorites. Don´t get scared, since most of these films are about the Colombian conflict and issues.

    • David Trujillo profile image
      Author

      David Trujillo Uribe 4 years ago from Medellin, Colombia

      Rodrigo D and Flesh of my Flesh are my cult favorites. Don´t get scared, since most of these films are about the Colombian conflict and issues.

    • profile image

      Benjamin Chege 4 years ago

      Hi David, thank you for the guidance. I was wondering which one I will start with, but now you have given me an idea. I will start with Rodrigo D No Futuro, then the rest will follow. Thank you.

    • David Trujillo profile image
      Author

      David Trujillo Uribe 4 years ago from Medellin, Colombia

      I´m glad you liked it. You can watch Rodrigo D No Futuro in one of my hubs, through YouTube videos. I give an explanation about the social context in between the videos.

    • David Trujillo profile image
      Author

      David Trujillo Uribe 4 years ago from Medellin, Colombia

      If you liked Apocalypsur, you will love Rodrigo D No Futuro

    • profile image

      Benjamin Chege 4 years ago

      Hi David Trujillo. Well presented hub. Voted up, interesting and awesome. I have seen Apocalipsur. It was engaging and riveting from the beginning to the end. Unfortunately, I have not seen the other 4 but I will surely have them on my screen very soon. Thank you for the information.