‘Blanquita’ Shows a Compelling Depiction of Victimhood

Ulises Duenas

 

Executing a movie about sensitive topics takes skill. You need a good script, good actors and direction that doesn’t try to sensationalize matters with which many are uncomfortable. Fernando Guzzoni’s “Blanquita,” Chile’s entry into the Oscars this year, does exactly that.

 

Blanca, who goes by Blanquita, is a young woman living in a shelter for orphaned youths with her infant daughter. When her friend Carlito tries to come forward with allegations of sexual abuse that include prominent politicians, he is deemed mentally unfit to testify or go through the trial. Carlito’s accounts of the events spur traumatic memories for Blanquita and she remembers going through the same experiences. With the help of Father Manuel, the man in charge of the shelter, she goes through the uphill battle of trying to bring the men to justice in court.

 

 

Laura Lopez as Blanquita does a great job of portraying a character that has been through a life of trauma but does her best to fight through the difficulty of pursuing the case. She has strong resolve but does show weakness and doubt when things escalate and the danger rises. Alejandro Goic as Father Manuel also puts in a stellar performance as a priest who is tired of children’s suffering being swept under the rug.

 

The film’s writing and direction go a long way in establishing a quiet, serious tone. The movie’s color palette is drab and muted, and many shots are focused on a character’s face while they’re in a dark room. The script feels grounded and is a cut above what you’d see in a TV drama or Hollywood movie with a similar subject matter.

 

There are people that want to help Blanquita find justice, but the systems in place create a frustrating set of hurdles that are true to life. Their language is technical and bureaucratic and you can tell the deck is stacked against Blanquita just by the way people talk.

 

 

As the film goes on, there are more doubts cast on Blanquita’s story and the way the movie handles these turns makes it more compelling. It’s not exactly a twist, but as the audience gets more of an idea of what’s going, on they’ll be hooked in and unable to look away. It’s not a sensational drama that will make you want to cheer; it’s a movie that creates a pit in your stomach that will sink lower as the film approaches its resolution.

 

It’s rare for a film to depict the victims of sexual abuse and what they go through in the legal system so realistically. Everything from the dialogue, the characters, and the story seem real, and it makes for something memorable and poignant. I recommend “Blanquita” to anyone who watches serious dramas or movies about the blindside in many legal systems.

 

Author Bio:

Ulises Duenas is a senior writer at Highbrow Magazine.

 

For Highbrow Magazine

 

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