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Muriel Santa Ana,
Montevideo, Uruguay. In this comedic drama, Elisa, 27, dreams of opening her own hairdressing salon in one of the rich districts of the Uruguayan capital. A bit of a rebel, one day Elisa moves out of her mother's house with her two children and breaks up with Garcia, her boss and lover who has infuriated her by not wanting to get married. So, in the space of twenty-four hours, Elisa finds herself without a roof over her head, without a man, without a job and without money. Her best friend Loulou finds her a job - in the brothel run by Dona Jacqueline. And without really being aware of it, Elisa slides into prostitution, which leads her to Barcelona. She falls in love, she is exploited, she gets involved in transvestite gang wars, and meanwhile just dreams of earning enough money for her little beauty salon back home. Written by
This Uruguayan film, one of the most popular films shown at the recent São Paulo Film Festival after breaking box office records at home, is a funny and intelligent film.
It addresses an important ongoing, unresolved pan-Latin American issue which, inexplicably, has not been depicted as it deserves to be, in either Spanish or Latin America cinema. That is, up to now.
Since the 1980s, unemployed, impoverished Latin American women have been lured to Spain, somewhat knowingly or unknowingly, to support their families at home through prostitution. However, once in Spain, these women´s passports and freedom are taken away. They become sex slaves, often with no way out, with no pay, and no one to turn to for help.
This film, mixes comedy, drama, social commentary, tragedy, and the sense of hope, all to great effect. If it plays at a film festival near you, as it may soon, I would definitely recommend this unusual, funny, and touching film.
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