The Paraguayan movie The Heiresses (Las Herederas, 2018), by Marcelo Martinessi, screens in Spanish with English subtitles at Film Forum in Hudson Square, Manhattan daily for two weeks from January 16 – 29, 2019. $15
Chela (Ana Brun) and Chiquita have been partners for decades, lifelong members of Paraguay’s moneyed elite – until the money runs out. Now they spend their days selling their furniture, glassware, and silver to whoever will make them an offer.
When Chiquita, the more garrulous and resilient of the two women, is sent to prison, Chela has to cope with loneliness and incipient poverty. Then a new option develops.
The movie is anchored by two extraordinary, magnetic performances (Ana Brun as Chela won the Best Actress prize in Berlin) that suggest the untold inner resources of its principal characters.
The director credits Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s The Bitter Tears of Petra Von Kant as an important influence.
Paraguay has one of South America’s most static Latin cultures. The past still lives there.
Faded riches are a common theme throughout Latin America. It’s not unusual for aging women to sell their family’s household accessories to survive. It is the reason Latin America is a great place to shop for antiques.
We experience ourselves in relationship to others, not alone on the mountaintop. There is nothing like a breakup to reawaken the joy of life inside you.
A relationship between a younger and older person is uncommon, but is one of the richest relationships you will ever have. Our bodies change, but we are still the same person inside.
Society doesn’t value the wisdom of the ages, but connecting with it is powerful. Older people don’t bullshit. They tell you like it is. The experience of the years mixed with a younger energy is a potent mix.
Knowing that you are entering the twilight of life gives those last moments a special poignance.
Critics love this movie, especially Ana Brun’s performance as Chela.
The Heiresses Tickets
Tickets are available at the Film Forum box office or online. $15
209 West Houston St
(between Sixth Ave & Varick St)
Hudson Square, Manhattan
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