Sunday, January 25, 2015

Nuestro Cine: Beauty is Skin Deep?

The Miss Universe contest will be held tonight and perhaps no other country is more synonymous with the world’s top beauty pageant than Venezuela. Seven representatives from the South American country have won Miss Universe tonight including reigning titleholder Gabriela Isler. Nineteen-year-old Migbelis Lynette Castellanos is surely one of the favorites to the crown, which she hopes to win in order for her countrymen torn by economic uncertainty and deep political divisions to “forget everything that is happening for just a short while.” (As the cases of Genesis Carmona and Monica Spear showed, however, even beauty queens are not immune from becoming the targets of violence in their homeland.)

Venezuela’s pageant obsession that includes sending girls as young as four-years-old to train in special “beauty schools” is a theme explored in the film “3 Bellezas” (“3 Beauties”). The movie, examines the lives of Perla, a mom focused on training her daughters to become future beauty queens and her children willing to do whatever it takes to acquiesce to their mother’s wishes. Perla is not shy to teach her kids how to vomit meals or instill hem advice like only “beautiful women” are able to get whatever they desire. They drive to reach what they believe is the pinnacle of fame and fortune but the price they all pay could be very costly.

“I would like for people to understand that we’re acting superficial, said “3 Bellezas” director Carlos Caridad-Montero. “But there is a system that takes you to that level.”

The film takes a very critical look at beauty pageants in Venezuela, though even Caridad-Montero acknowledges those who feel that “attractiveness is seen as a way of climbing the social ladder.”

Below the page break is the trailer with English subtitles for “3 Bellezas” that premiered last Friday. Please check it out:

3 Bellezas, trailer (English subtitles) from carlanga on Vimeo.

Video Source– Vimeo user carlanga

Online Sources – The Nation; NPR; CNN; El Universo; BBC News

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