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Award-winning film 'Maria Full of Grace' to screen

RELEASED: Sept. 12, 2011

Maria Full of Grace

EAU CLAIRE — The International Film Society will present "Maria Full of Grace" (Colombia-U.S.-Ecuador 2004) at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Sept. 22-25. Winner of the Dramatic Audience Award at the Sundance Film Festival, the film will screen at 6 and 8:30 p.m. in Davies Theatre.

"Maria Full of Grace" weaves a gripping narrative of risk, determination, survival and redemption as it follows a bright and brave young woman on a life-threatening, life-changing odyssey from Colombia to New York when she accepts a job transporting heroin.

Seventeen-year old Maria Alvarez (Oscar-nominee Catalina Sandino Moreno) lives with three generations of her family in a cramped house in rural Columbia and works stripping thorns from flowers in a rose plantation. The offer of a lucrative job involving travel — smuggling drugs to America by swallowing latex-encased pellets of powder — changes the course of her life. Far from the uneventful trip she is promised, the adventure transports Maria into the risky and ruthless world of international drug trafficking.

"Sometimes it takes great fiction to tell a certain kind of truth," wrote The Washington Post. "The film unfolds with an urgency and authenticity that many of even its most noble nonfiction contemporaries lack. 'Maria Full of Grace' seems to have been sent from the cinematic heavens to remind viewers of the honesty and sobering realism of which movies are still capable."

In English and Spanish with English subtitles, the 101-minute film is rated R for obscenity, violence and scenes of drug use.

Admission is free at the door with a Blugold Card or IFS membership. Community members who wish to attend campus films can purchase an annual IFS membership at the Service Center (715-836-3727) in Davies Center's east lobby. An individual membership costs $4, and a family membership is $10.

More information about the campus film series is available online and at the Activities, Involvement and Leadership office, Davies Center 133.

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JS/DW

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