Life seems to have taken a turn for the worse for this elderly Paraguayan lesbian couple who have been together for 30 years and always enjoyed a life of comfortable luxury. Now with Chiquita (Margarita Irun) the more worldly of the pair about to go off to jail after being charged with fraud, there is a worry that Chela (Ana Brun ) who has always led a sheltered life, will struggle to survive,
Their wealth was inherited from their families and they are now so strapped for cash that they are selling off all their heirlooms one by one. Despite their poverty they still have a maid to wait on Chela hand and foot and she likes to try and ignor their greatly reduced circumstances.
When an elderly neighbour asks Chela if she could give her a ride to her weekly card game, she reluctantly agrees even though she is a lousy driver who has never got a licence. Driving the old Mercedes that she has inherited from her father, Chela is a hit with the card game ladies who press money on her for the ride and insist that she is now their regular taxi driver.
Certainly what they pay her is very handy, but on her weekly visit to prison Chiquita tells her that this is a very bad idea and she should stop before the Police find out. However on one of her rides to the weekly card game she meets the younger Angy (Ana Ivanova), the daughter of one of the card players , and she is immediately smitten with her magnetic personality and her carefree attitude to live.
When Angy asks Chela to drive her mother to the next town for weekly Doctor’s visits, she immediately turns her down as this would mean driving on the freeway which she has never done before. But the very thought of being able to spend a couple of hours at a time with Angy in the car is however too good to miss.
While Chela gets increasingly obsessed she lets slip giving she the lawyer to help free Chiquita, who even without her help does eventually secure release at the very same time that Chela is about to confess her feelings for Angy. If the disruption of having Chiquita back in the house isn’t bad enough, Chela then discovers that the next thing that will be sold is her car which is just one straw too much.
This truly compelling award-winning film from writer/director Marcelo Martinessi is a glimpse of a once genteel lifestyle that almost seems it is from another century. The interesting thing about his story, is that no fuss is ever made about the two women’s relationship, and Chela is much more concerned that friends and neighbors will judge them on their new wretched financial circumstances.
Brun puts in this wonderfully nuanced performance in her very unshowy role as Chita (she won a Silver Bear at Berlin for this) that we feel positively sympathetic that she can neither let go of the past or try and grab hold of the future.
The really entertaining The Heiresses is another perfect film when the central characters are gay, but that is not the main plank of the story.