The pregnant Colombian 17 year old in 2004’s “Maria Full of Grace,” which will screen tomorrow at the Michigan Theatre is nothing if not bold. Her route to a better life is paved with the gravest possible health and political dangers – the route of Colombian heroin trafficking into the United States.
Maria (newcomer Catalina Sandino Moreno) grudgingly helps to support her sister’s baby and other family members with a mindless job, dethorning roses in rural Colombia, until her employer’s debasing treatment finally propels her to seek work in Bogota. The most lucrative prospect is an offer of about $5,000 – to swallow more than 60 grape-sized heroin pellets and transport them to New York City in her stomach. After speaking to another drug mule (a veteran, having survived just two previous trips), Maria and a tagalong friend from home accept the offer, risking both imprisonment and the heroin packets lethally breaking inside their bodies.
The story of the three young women completing their mission becomes a sort of narrative expos