HCAF21: ‘Luchadoras’ Review

This resilient documentary shines a light on the fight inside and outside of the ring for these incredible luchadoras.

Courtesy of Houston Cinema Arts Society

3.5/5

When skimming the festival program for the Houston Cinema Arts Festival, a lot of films caught my eye. Some that were really anticipated and some that were unknown to me like this film. I read up on this beautiful documentary about some badass powerful women who are not just maneuvering the ring but life in Mexico. I arrived dressed for the occasion with my Jay White Grand Slam NJPW shirt like the massive fan of pro wrestling I am. I knew that this would not be a documentary completely concentrating on professional wrestling, but this mixed two of my biggest passions and delivered way past expectations.

Luchadoras looks at the lives of female professional wrestlers living in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico as they navigate the challenges of living in Mexico and the target placed on their gender identity. It is not breaking news to know that Mexico has been dealing with a long period of feminicide. It is already difficult to navigate the culture as a woman and those who live there must fight against a constant target placed on them. The documentary is directed by Paola Calvo and Patrick Jasim who also serve as writers alongside Phillip Kaminiak. Throughout the film, we follow the lives of Lady Candy, Mini Sinerita, Baby Star, and Little Star as they compete inside of the ring and outside of it to exist as women in Mexico. The film is also expertly shot and woven together by a beautiful and important story about female empowerment.

Pro wrestling is the perfect place to highlight these women since the squared circle is the only space where these women can showcase not just their physical strength but their emotional strength too. We are constantly looking at both sides of the border and how different it is to live on either side. Luchadoras is magnificent and a strong outing from a very talented crew of artists. The performances always feel real and it raises important conversations to be had. I am dying to be able to rewatch this film sometime soon. Please seek this out as soon as it is available to the public.

Watch Luchadoras as it continues its festival run.

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