Our Lady of the Assassins | Chicago Reader

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This Death in Venice set in the moral decay of Medellin, Colombia, has its faults, but it's Barbet Schroeder's most relevant and interesting film in over a decade. Based on an autobiographical novel by Fernando Vallejo, the film stars German Jaramillo as a gay exiled writer (reminiscent of Pasolini) who returns home to die, only to fall in love with an underage hustler who, like everyone else on the streets, doesn't plan to reach adulthood. Together they move like a tedious funeral procession through the city's dangerous streets and oases of calmness. Schroeder's gritty surrealism is enhanced by his casting real street kids and shooting them on their own turf, using high-definition video to create an odd color palette. His tone is off-putting, but ultimately we identify with and care for the protagonist, who feels true loss only when the city's anarchy affects him on a personal level. 100 min.

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