Our Lady of the Assassins (2001)



Critic Consensus: Director Barbet Schroeder presents a bleak, darkly humorous drama about hopeless love in Medellin, Colombia.

Our Lady of the Assassins Photos

Movie Info

A middle-aged man wanting to revisit the city of his birth discovers time and corruption have taken a terrible toll in this drama. Fernando (German Jaramillo) is a successful gay writer who was born in Medellín, Colombia, but has lived in Europe for the past 30 years. Feeling jaded and uninspired, Fernando decides to return to Colombia after the death of his sister, who was the last surviving member of his immediate family. Fernando remembers the Medellín of his youth as a beautiful place, but now the city is the capital of the international drug trade, and crime and urban sprawl have made it a harsh and dangerous place to live. At a party, Fernando meets Alexis (Anderson Ballesteros), a member of a teenage street gang. The two soon strike up a friendship, as Fernando tries to show Alexis what's left of the city he once knew, and Alexis teaches Fernando the grim realities of life and death on the streets. Fernando and Alexis become lovers, but despite their affection for each other, Fernando does not fully understand the dangerous and volatile nature of life in the new Medellín, which leads him into grave danger. La Virgen de los Sicarios was written for the screen by Fernando Vallejo, based on his novel. Director Barbet Schroeder shot the film on location in Medellín, using a digital video camera in order to speed up production in the notoriously dangerous city. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi
R (for strong violence, language, sexuality and drug content)
Art House & International , Drama , Mystery & Suspense , Romance
Directed By:
Written By:
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Hector Galan
as Tango Singer
Jaime Osorio
as Forensic Pathologist
Carlos Zapata
as Motel Receptionist
Eduardo Carvajal
as Taxi Driver Clinic
Wilmar Agudelo
as Child Sniffing Glue
Galley Alexander Molina
as Alexis's Brother
Juan Luis Tejada
as Alexis's Brother
John Jaramillo
as Child Beggar
Gustavo Restrepo
as Wounded Man
Jairo Alzate
as Taxi Driver
Zulma Arango
as Waitress
Jose Luis Bedoya
as Taxi Sabaneta 1
Cenobia Cano
as Alexis's Mother
Olga Lucia Collazos
as Pregnant Woman
Jorge A. Correa
as Dead Man
Phanor Delgado
as Taxi Driver with Machete
Wilson Lopez
as Taxi Driver Sabaneta 2
Anibal Moncada
as Don Anibal
Teyler Perez
as 4x4 Youth
Edwin Porras
as Bad Guy No. 1
Ohn Mario Restrepo
as Bad Guy No. 2
Carlos A. Danita
as Wounded Man's Friend
Nicolas Franco
as Hired Assassin
Rubi Henao
as Beggar
Juan Fdo. Leon
as Hired Assassin
Martha Libia Zuluaga
as Dead Punk Witness
Show More Cast

Critic Reviews for Our Lady of the Assassins

All Critics (61) | Top Critics (23)

A movie that finds a new way to get at the dichotomy of the violent yet supposedly religious and of the faith-starved yet militantly agnostic.

November 8, 2001
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic

The film's title is appropriate. A desperate Catholicism flavors the doomed city.

Full Review… | October 28, 2001
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

A film of clarity, feeling and electric intensity.

Full Review… | October 25, 2001
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic

We never come to care about these characters, perhaps because they seem to care so little about themselves.

Full Review… | October 9, 2001
Houston Chronicle
Top Critic

A harrowing and sobering tale of self-discovery in a civilization on the verge of collapse.

October 4, 2001
Dallas Morning News
Top Critic

Restraint, authentic feeling, economy of means are distinguishing marks in [Schroeder's] work here.

October 4, 2001
The New Republic
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Our Lady of the Assassins

My top favorite movie because it expresses itself eloquently what someone passing their prime and a transplant in foreign country goes through.

Jacob Demetrius
Jacob Demetrius

Real, Raw, Contrary to others who deemed this film as lacking, I appreciated the non-movie quality, almost documentary POV. This is a raw look at life in a world where children have learned to survive by adapting to the drug influenced violent environment of Medellín, Columbia. The guilt free ease in which they take each others lives is a reflection and commentary of the senseless murdering enacted by leaders of our world today. Alexis (Anderson Ballesteros) and Fernando played by German Jaramillo... The shallow underdeveloped characters and dialogue are authentic and pleasing, further hammering home this disturbing portrait of humanity through the eyes of a man who has come home to "die". What can one expect from a 40 something and a 16 year old gang boy. Their interactions and loving are nuance rich but ( as I like) ask me the viewer to fill in the depth of what if anything these two who are worlds and ages apart could feel for one another. I project/judge they were clinging on to one another for some sense of being loved in a world that had showed them little. They don't know how to be lovers, but they do love each other and that is perfect. For me comparing destroys loving, I loved "Chronically Unsustainable" and could have compared it as they are of similar genre. I choose to take one film at a time and invite you to enjoy "Our Lady of The Assassins" for what it is and not what you expect or demand it to be. -Alter'Nathan

Alter Nathan
Alter Nathan

*** (out of four) Alex is a sixteen year old boy who lives in a boys brothel in the city of Medellin. He is used to living and killing in the streets. He becomes involved with a writer who has recently returned to the city. Not easy subject matter, but extremely well made film with great performances.

Steve Smith
Steve Smith

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