Synopsis

SYNOPSIS


This sassy, stirring, and surprisingly subtle winner of the Sundance Audience Award tells the story of a first-generation Mexican-American teenager from East Los Angeles who struggles to strike a balance between her mainstream ambitions and her more traditional cultural heritage as she attempts to forge her own path in life. Bright, full-figured Ana (America Ferrera in an impressive debut) wants to go to college, but mamá insists that she work in a garment sweatshop while preparing for marriage. Veteran actress and recent indie favorite Lupe Ontiveros (Chuck and Buck, Storytelling) delivers a powerhouse performance—funny, scary, touching—as the suffocating mother who bombards her daughter with put-downs, guilt trips, and hilariously gruesome cautionary tales. Based on Josefina Lopezʼs play, which was inspired by her own experiences, Real Women Have Curves is distinguished from more simplistic ethnic-identity dramas by its recognition of a hidden oppression that comes from within oneʼs own culture, family, and self. Ana is more her motherʼs daughter than sheʼd care to admit, bearing closely linked shames about her non-svelte body and Hispanic heritage. She despises the older women who passively toil alongside her, and they see her as a stuck-up brat. Mutual respect develops as Ana begins to appreciate their sacrifices and they catch a whiff of her independence. Anaʼs challenge is not just to assert her identity but to recognize it as a complex weave of self and culture.

USA, 2002
90 min., PG-13
In English and Spanish with English Subtitles
Color




FILMMAKERS

Director
Writers

Cinematographer
Music
Editing
Producers
KPATRICIA CARDOSO
JOESFINA LOPEZ
GEORGE LAVOO
JIM DENAULT
HEITOR PEREIRA
SLOANE KLEVIN
MARILYN R. ATLAS
EFFIE BROWN
GEORGE LAVOO

CAST


Ana Garcia
Carmen Garcia
Estela Garcia

AMERICA FERRERA
LUPE ONTIVEROS
INGRID OLIU