LUCHADORAS (SXSW 21) – Review by Valerie Kalfrin

The female wrestlers of the documentary Luchadoras have more to battle than just opponents in the ring. In Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, where they live and work, it’s an achievement for women to stay alive. That’s no exaggeration, as directors Paola Calvo and Patrick Jasim, make clear in the opening moments. Luchadora Lady Candy recalls harrowing tales her grandmother told of bus drivers taking women the wrong way and raping or killing them. So many women’s remains have turned up in the desert.

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Female Filmmakers at SXSW 2021 Preview – Valerie Kalfrin reports

Although the ongoing coronavirus pandemic prevents filmmakers and audiences from gathering in person, SXSW Online spotlights 75 feature films, including about 40 from women directors. Its special events include a keynote address from political leader and bestselling author Stacey Abrams in conversation with bestselling author N.K. Jemisin. The online pivot revives the film, tech, and music festival, which shuttered its doors in 2020 for the first time in 34 years because of health concerns about COVID-19. This year’s lineup promises a “fantastic treasure trove of programming … that everyone can access on their laptops, phones, and TVs,” Janet Pierson, the festival’s director of film, has said.

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