The Heiresses – a Paraguayan story

Saturday 24 April, 2pm



Have you ever seen a Paraguayan film?

Our next event looks at The Heiresses (2018), the début film by writer-director Marcelo Martinessi. It’s an unusual film for a man to write – a story about a world of older women. 

Chela and Chiquita have lived together for thirty years but now their financial status is crumbling. They have had to start selling off their family heirlooms and when Chiquita is sentenced to prison for financial misdemeanours, Chela is forced to confront her situation in their old apartment in Asunción. She will have to go ‘out into the world’ and what she discovers about herself will become the basis for the narrative.

Paraguay has little in the way of film culture and most of the actors are theatre-trained. The story of two women who got together towards the end of dictatorship in the late 1980s and stayed together for three decades in a still repressed conservative Catholic country was a challenge for the actors and presumably for audiences in Paraguay. 

The film is essentially a character study and it won many prizes around the world, with three at the Berlin Film Festival in 2018, including one for Ana Brun as Best Actress. She was a lawyer at the time without any professional acting experience.

There will be a set of notes and a short presentation on Latin American cinema to support our discussion on Saturday 24th April at 2pm.

The Heiresses is free to watch for MUBI subscribers and can be rented from Sky Store or Amazon for £3.49. (MUBI has free trials or introductory rates for 3 months. It is worth investigating.)

To help combat any technical issues, the Zoom link will be live from 1pm to give us time to vanquish any gremlins before the discussion is due to start.

If you are worried about access issues, we suggest you log on early. Once you’re in, you can turn off your camera, mute your microphone and go about your business until we start at 2pm.