El Paso, TX

July 18 - July 28, 2024 • El Paso, TX

Victimas del pecado (Victims of Sin)

Spanish with English subtitles
Sunday, July 21
Philanthropy Theatre

Violeta (Ninón Sevilla), a popular Cuban dancer at Cabaret Chango, finds a baby in a garbage can in Mexico City’s red-light district and vows to raise it after its mother, a prostitute, refuses. Both women are controlled by men, notably the treacherous pimp Rodolfo (Rodolfo Acosta), which leads to a fatal showdown. This overlooked rumbera, directed by the legendary Emilio Fernandez and produced by Juarez’s Calderon brothers, borders on maudlin at times, but is fueled by solid performances, especially the fiery Sevilla, rousing song-and-dance numbers, and Gabriel Figueroa’s superlative black-and-white cinematography, which emphasizes the shadows and darkness in their world. This overlooked gem was restored by Mexican filmmaker, archivist and occasional PCFF guest Viviana Garcia-Besné through her Permanencia Voluntaria, with support from PCFF co-founder Charles Horak. It was reissued by Janus Films last fall, with a home video release in June 2024. — Doug Pullen

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Starring: Ninon Sevilla, Tito Junco
Rated: NR