Maria Full of Grace (2004)

Maria Full of Grace poster

Under the direction of Joshua Martson a “painfully real, yes, but, yes full of grace” says Ton Sison, rated Grade A- movie based on a true story of a 17 year old Columbia teenager, produced by the GUILLED production company and HBO FILMS which hits the screen on 2004.

Maria shares her meager wage to support her grandmother, her mom and her single-mom sister, all of whom are unemployed, who are however all complaining about her meager wage. Nevertheless, she quits her job when her boss stops allowing her to go to the comfort room. And she apologizes to her boss and begs mercy to get her job back. And, to add more of the burden she’s carrying, she becomes pregnant from Juan, his certified loser boyfriend who proposes to marry her. However, she refuses the marriage proposal and stands firm in her belief to only marry the man whom she loves.

Maria asks her friend to help her find a job as a maid, and along the way, she meets Franklin, a motorcyclists, from a party. The scumbag Franklin takes advantage of her recent situation and gives her a fake US Visa and $5,000 in exchange for smuggling drugs. Maria, being attach to the Drug lord, ignoring the dangers of drugs, she ingests 62 nuggets of heroin sealed with latex and dental floss, and takes off to New York City. Moreover, when the plane lands, she is interrogated by the police and fortunately, the baby in her womb saves her from being x-rayed.

Then she meets the drug lord to a hotel, and she would be given money and she flies away. Another young drug smuggler died whereas Maria and another drug smuggler named Bianca panic and take off with drugs on hand and seeks shelter to the dead fellow smuggler’s sister’s home without even telling Carla, the sister the real reason why her sibling dies. Although the pregnant Carla doubts Maria but helps her anyway. Maria in the movie is faced with challenges each day. How long can Maria conceals the truth of the death of Carla’s sister? she is faced with difficult decisions, to go back home to live in poverty again or hits the United States and start a new life.

The movie is all about the oppression of the poor in Columbia and even here in the Philippines and in other countries as well such as in Africa, Nigeria and other countries that are experiencing oppression. The movie is indeed sad, and painful for my part as a teenager. Sometimes because of poverty we cling to no option but enter the dangerous road in order for us to survive in this world where domination, coercion, pain and hunger is very evident. As Kurt Goldstein would have theorized the Organismic Valuing Process, that individuals will doing anything for maintenance and survival.

Others find security in drugs and alcohol, and in smoking. In turn teenagers commit suicide because of the inability to find meaning in life, and in suffering. Another problem is pre-marital sex that leads to early pregnancy like what happen to Maria.

Says Ton Sison in his review “When you are poor, oppressed woman in a cruel world, you have nothing. Nothing but grace.”

I will leave my readers an excerpt from the Song “Hearts of the Innocent” by Kutless:

“I’m looking down into the eyes of hopelessness. They’re crying out to me. I see the pain, its so much more the youth should know. It tears me apart. What can I do to change what I see? This vicious cycle must come to an end.”

All of us are challenged to make a difference and change what we see. And the question is left for us to answer as teenagers and creation of God, What can I do to change what I see?

Maria Full of Grace (2004)

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