Movies: One Car in the Drug Traffic

Maria Full of Grace looks at the ugly work of heroin smuggling and finds something to love

In Colombia, job opportunities are, shall we say, limited, even for a young woman as heartbreakingly beautiful as Maria (Catalina Sandino Moreno). When we meet her, she is stripping the thorns off roses for a wholesale florist--hating the boss, the degrading working conditions, the paltry pay.

The alternative is being a "mule," smuggling heroin into the U.S. That involves swallowing packets of the drug (62 of them in her case) in Colombia and excreting them once she has cleared customs in El Norte. It's ugly work (you may want to avert your eyes while she is endlessly swallowing the drugs)--and...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!