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The topical theme of the movie is what lies behind the drug business and what are the forces that help this business to prosper. Form the beginning of the plot one sees Maria that is working in a factory and supports her family. Yet, the conditions of work are terrible and, what is worse, there is no other option to be employed. People live in misery without proper housing or support from the government. The following constitutes quite a fertile ground for the growth of crimes and underground industries that become attractive for common people, who under other circumstances would choose a legal occupation. However, its absence is responsible for the numbers of couriers that risk their freedom and lives.
Even in these conditions a person can find “grace” while overcoming all the obstacles the life prepares and having the power to choose the right path when an opportunity appears. Although becoming involved in a criminal business that bring only pain and destruction, Maria is not portrayed as a hungry for profit and immoral person who only cares of finding an easy way of enrichment. In contrast, throughout the film she manages to maintain her benevolent character and to act as she feels would be the right thing to do. For instance, she supports her family, tries to alleviate Lucy’s pain, gives money to her sister to send her back to Colombia, and, finally, decides to stay in America for the sake of her child to give him/her an opportunity to build a different and much better life than one would have in Colombia. Thus, the character of Maria is full of grace, which is stated in the title.
As a whole, the film touches deeply with its realism that is reinforced by the camera work and scenery employed in its production. As it was mentioned above, the film pictures the true social realities in Colombia, so it acquires a kind of a documentary style, aimed at showing the life as it is without any fabrication. The following is reinforced by the
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The shots are taken using underexposed or dimmed and infrared film stock or artificial light (tungsten) during postproduction in order to come into sight like the film took place at night. The film is referred to as Day for Night in the English-speaking world (Truffaut, 1986).
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