Hailed by critics as one of the best Mexican films ever made, Victimas del Pecado explores the mysterious, exotic underworld of postwar Mexico City. Violeta (Ninón Sevilla), a beautiful cabaret dancer, rescues an abandoned baby from a garbage can and decides to raise him. Love blossoms unexpectedly when Santiago (Tito Junco) meets Violeta in the red light district and protects her from the perverse pimp that shadows her life. Powerfully told, the story unfolds in the midst of nocturnal ambiance with musical numbers by mambo king Dámaso Pérez Prado and Pedro Vargas, one of Mexico’s most popular singers of the era. —Strand Releasing
If he did not already exist, it would be necessary to invent Emilio “El Indio” Fernández. His manneristic visual style, his folkloric themes and characters, and his distinctively Indian physiognomy made him an integral element of Mexico’s culture of nationalism, as well as the nation’s best-known director. Fleeing Mexico after the defeat of his faction in the rebellion of 1923, Fernández ended up digging ditches in Hollywood. As has been the case with so many Latin American artists and intellectuals, Fernández discovered his fatherland by leaving it: “I understood that it was possible to create a Mexican cinema, with our own actors and our own stories. . . . From then on the cinema became a passion with me, and I began to dream of Mexican films.” Making Mexican cinema became Fernández’s obsession and, as is so often true of cultural nationalism, a short-term gain was to turn into a long-term dead end.
Perhaps that which most distinguishes Fernández’s films is their strikingly… read more
Man I love this flick. Sevilla's hotter than a firecracker, and Figuroa's cinematography is delicious. Very much a product of its time and place, the film has an overheated dynamic that could easily be construed as camp. But that doesn't detract from my enjoyment of this film, not at all.
Technically, VoS is great. The direction, cinematography, and editing are spotless. However, the film wanders into well-known Fernández territory. It sets up a tale that is melodramatic, but it soon becomes a moralistic tale, presenting in the end a really hopeful message for future Mexico. It becomes preachy, and that takes a lot from the final result.