North Bend 2021 Review: ‘Luchadoras’ looks at women fighting back

Women have it harder in this world than men do. Some might dispute this (and they’d be wrong), but it is a fact. While it remains true anywhere you go, one of the worst places is Ciudad Juarez, in Northern Mexico. In this city, there is an ongoing trend of women being murdered and exploited. Luchadoras follows three women in the city who have discovered a means to empowerment within their lives, Lucha Libre.

It’s an interesting juxtaposition in the first place, but it only gets more powerful as the movie goes on.

The three women in the film all have different stories but with similar elements. Lady Candy’s children have been taken by her ex-husband to El Paso (a city she can see from her home), but authorities are of little to no help. Mini Serinita dreams of leaving factory work behind for good, as so many women go missing in and around those jobs. And Baby Star, a woman with a history of Lucha Libre, is making a comeback but meeting resistance.

The society in which all these women live is not one to give them a break, but they all find inspiration and self-expression through Lucha Libre. It’s a fascinating look into a subculture and one that will make you laugh and cry in equal measure.

As the film progresses, you see all of this, along with the specific ways in which they are all made to struggle; whether it’s financially, physically, or emotionally, they each go through some version of all of it.

Luchadoras is clever in that it directly addresses the danger and oppression of women in Mexico but does so by focussing on the empowerment of these three women and showing how they strive to overcome it. Each time they are beaten, each time they are knocked down, they each get back up again, and they each keep fighting. It’s a powerful image, and I hope that everyone who needs a story like this gets to see it.

Luchadoras is playing for US audiences through July 18th as part of North Bend Film Festival. There are no Canadian release details at this time.


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