TIFF 2016 Movie Review: BEAUTIES OF THE NIGHT (BELLAS DE NOCHE) (Mexico 2016)

Movie Reviews of films that will be playing at TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival) in 2016. Go to TIFF 2016 Movie Reviews and read reviews of films showing at the festival.

Directed by María José Cuevas

Starring: Rossy Mendoza, Lyn May, Olga Breeskin

Review by Gilbert Seah

Director Cuevas’ documentary on Mexican showgirls (the women who found notoriety by showing a little skin in movies and on TV) follows a few of them, now past their prime, talking about their past glories and present lives. There is nothing special about this documentary in terms of message, research done on the subject or insight on the showbiz industry. It appears that director Cuevas is just as guilty of exploiting these poor girls to make his documentary.

The film is also at most times all over the place. For example, Seux talks about her life crumbling like the 1985 Mexican earthquake, and Cuevas provides a still of the earthquake. There is also a bit about Princess Yemel imprisoned for two years.

She talks about the horrible treatment there – enough to make any decent person feel uneasy. There are a few moments of interest – as the showgirls’ lives are not all dull (with the exception of the born-again Christianity portion) – Cuevas’ documentary is quite ordinary – like his showgirls, all of whom are nothing more than normal people given the chance of the limelight.

Trailer: https://vimeo.com/161997817

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