Pablo’s Hippos(Antonio Von Hildebrand, Lawrence Elman, 2010):UK, Colombia

Reviewed by Ron Christianson viewed at the Santa Barbara Film Festival 2011

Pablo’s Hippos is a full length Documentary seen through the eyes and narrated by an Animated Hippo, ironically named Pablo. It chronicled the rise and fall of Columbian Drug Baron, Pablo Escobar. Pablo was born December 1, 1949 to a school teacher of lower middle class. It was his ambition from a young age to become President of Columbia.

Pablo started his life of crime and corruption as a small time thief stealing and reselling grave markers. In no time, he started smuggling Contraband. Next he saw an opportunity to assassinate a local drug lord and take over his operation. Once in place, Pablo excelled as a drug trafficker. Buying coca paste from nearby Peru and Bolivia, exporting it back to Colombia processing it into cocaine and smuggling the product to the United States.

This operation now in full swing and cocaine in high demand, business boomed. With his new found power and wealth he could bribe or assassinate anyone in his way. Pablo was unstoppable. Remembering where he came from, he built sports arenas with lights and churches for the poor people of his country. The people deemed him a Robin Hood like figure, thus gaining the support of the poor.

His ruthless reputation proceeded him at this point, and he was able to buy his way into the Colombian Government as the title of the Colombian Congress. Now that he had political power, he would often assassinate Political Opponents or anyone that opposed him. His title grew to be and considered by many as one of the most ruthless and most powerful organized crime organizations of all time. Forbes magazine estimated his wealth at $24,000,000,000, making him the 7th richest man in the world.

At one point to appease the Colombian Government, he agreed to refrain from Drug Trafficking and spent some time in jail. He agreed and built himself a 5 star jail. He could not live up the the commitment and both the US and Colombian Government hunting him down, ending his reign of terror with a bullet. The movie was both entertaining and Informative.

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