UK Premiere: Carita de Cielo

UK Premiere: Carita de Cielo

classified 15 S

La Rumbera: Ninón Sevilla


Thu 25 July 11:30

Cinema 1, Watershed

José Díaz Morales
María Elena Marqués, Antonio Badú, Fernando Soto
69 mins, Subtitled, 1947, Mexico
Primary language

Lupe (María Elena Marqués) is a young woman arrested for stealing food in the market. She is defended by Julio (Antonio Badú), a professor who shows her to his class as an example on the theory of theft. Soon she becomes his housemaid before inspiring the professor’s love.

Ninón Sevilla was a showgirl dancing in nightclubs and cabarets in Cuba and she was added to the film, performing two musical acts with singer Benny Moré, apparently not connected to the plot, but marking the beginning of her prolific career in Mexico.

In the years to come, she would gain popularity with her moves, voice and strong personality, interpreting fallen and vengeful women, sex workers and more, under the rhythm of congas, rumbas and mambos. She later refused work in Hollywood and was especially popular among French audiences.

"From now on we must take note of Ninón Sevilla, no matter how little we may be concerned with feminine gestures on the screen or elsewhere. From her inflamed look to her fiery mouth, everything is heightened in Ninón (her forehead, her lashes, her nose, her upper lip, her throat, her voice)." - François Truffaut, Cahiers du Cinema, 1954

A new 4K restoration courtesy of Permanencia Voluntaria.

With an introduction by Lorena Pino, film curator and promoter of Latin American film culture.

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