MARCELO MARTINESSI | PARAGUAY | 2018 | 97 MIN | NR | SPANISH W/ ENGLISH SUBTITLES
One of the most acclaimed films at the 2018 Berlin International Film Festival, THE HEIRESSES centers on 50-something Chela (Ana Brun), the descendent of a once-prosperous Paraguayan family that’s fallen on hard times. Forced to sell off her family’s prized possessions, Chela holes up in the grand but crumbling apartment that she’s shared for decades with her lover Chiquita (Margarita Irun). Their relationship is unsentimental but deeply co-dependent, with Chela taking out her bruised ego on her partner even as she relies on Chiquita to protect her from the outside world. But when Chiquita goes to jail on fraud charges, Chela has no choice but to fend for herself. She begins chauffeuring a group of doddering society ladies, and takes up a charged, ambiguous relationship with a flirtatious younger woman (Ana Ivanova). In her screen debut, Brun delivers a subtle, touching performance as a woman who’s at once haughty and as gawky as a teenager. Few films have explored the mysteries and contradictions of human desire with such subtlety and brutal honesty.
Cast: Ana Brun, Margarita Irún, Ana Ivanova
“Exquisitely balances character study with shrewd commentary on class, desire, and the lingering privileges of Paraguay’s elite.” –Variety