The Heiresses (2018)

A femme-centric study of two older women in a relationship for decades who’ve fallen on financial hard times, the film exquisitely balances character study with shrewd commentary on the precarious hierarchy of class distinctions, the turbulent persistence of sexual desire and the lingering privileges of Paraguay’s elite. Using largely unknown actresses with practically no screen experience yet an extraordinarily canny understanding of character, the director-writer [Marcelo Martinessi] achieves a heightened degree of insight […].

Martinessi keeps tight control over this intimate, hermetic world via carefully calibrated focal lengths and limited establishing shots. […] Chela (Ana Brun) has her identity bound up in [the] well-to-do house where she’s lived her entire life. Now however, thanks to accumulating debts that the bank calls fraud, her life partner Chiquita (Margarita Irún) will have to go to jail while Chela continues to sell off the paintings, furniture, silverware, and crystal that signify their position as part of Paraguay’s elite.

[Ana] Brun is magnetic in the way she transmits fleeting sensations silently using large eyes that convey fear, hurt, and abashed hopefulness; her first visit to Chiquita in jail could be used in acting classes to demonstrate the power of the glance […].

Jay Weissberg, Variety

  • Orig. title: Las Herederas
  • Language: Spanish
  • Subtitles: English
  • Distribution: Edge Entertainment
  • Cinematography: Luis Armando Arteaga
  • Editing: Fernando Epstein