Thieves and Liars

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Functioning as an unofficial Spanish-language equivalent of Steven Soderbergh's muckraker Traffic (2000), co-directors Ricardo Mendez Matta and Poli Marichal's meller Thieves and Liars traces the web of drug money-related corruption inherent in the Puerto Rican socioeconomic climate. As in the Soderbergh ensemble picture, Marichal and Matta interweave a number of socially relevant stories on various levels of Puerto Rican society - all about the movement of drugs from the Third World to Puerto Rico to the States. In one substory, Puerto Rican man Oscar (Steven Bauer) - in an attempt to gain revenge for the death of a friend - rubs out a drug boss, and thus sinks to a level every bit as dirty and shameless as his victim. In another, two young men, Cheo and Miguel, use drug money to support their needy grandmother. In a third, single mother and airport worker Wanda Velez (Magda Rivera) attempts to navigate her way through the byzantine Puerto Rican legal system, taking on the fly-by-night company that manipulated and conned her. And in still another substory, adolescent Luisito (Carlos Paniagua) teeters on the verge of self-destruction with illegal drug use, despite the constant admonitions of his concerned mother.


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