By Sergio C. Muñoz at Intelatin for Latino Rebels. Music featured on this cloudcast by Montoya, Quantic, La Yegros and Dandy Warhols.
Set in the modern era in Paraguay, Las Herederas (The Heiresses) focuses on the downfall of Poupée, a woman in her late 60s. (Poupée is French for doll.) She and her sister, Chiqui, have been forced to liquidate their home to cover a debt created by Chiqui. The majority of the film occurs over a short timeframe when Chiqui is jailed and Poupée begins to earn money as a taxi service for her friends in the community.
The film is nicely, yet slowly, crafted to understand two separate relationships that exist for Poupée. The first is the relationship she has with Chiqui. The second is the one she has with a new younger friend named, Angy. But, in my review, I would like to focus on a periphery character in the film, Pituca.
Poupée gets her big moment of freedom at the most unexpected moment when Chiqui goes to jail and she is asked by her friend, Pituca, to drive her to another friend’s house in Poupée’s hunter green Mercedes Benz 300D. One by one, Pituca begins roping in all of the other friends who need taxi service around town and because Poupée is too timid to collect, Pituca begins to play the role of collector.
When Pituca refers Angy to Poupée, the film begins to create a character tension unseen in most films and it is this relationship that means the most to Poupée. But, for me, the woman who steals every scene she is in … is Pituca. And for all of the beautiful craft of The Heiresses as it is, I longed to observe Pituca for the duration of the film. In the town where I was raised, Cuernavaca, Morelos, Mexico, I knew dozens of Pitucas through my grandmother.
Where did Latin America get all of these Pitucas? These are women who oftentimes think they are more royal than the European royals. They tend to be extremely classist and they spend their days and nights drinking, smoking and gossiping all there is to know about the nuances of their community. Typically, they are especially cruel to their female servants and especially kind to their husbands and their fathers.
Since they do not work, they usually either inherit money or marry into money. In what I think is the best scene in the movie, Pituca, wisely, tells Poupée that one of their mutual friends … “aguanto todo por la plata.” This is a common saying in Latin America when women are forced to swallow the pride they feel when somebody close to them betrays them, usually their husband or their father, but they keep quiet so that they don’t have to suffer the struggle of making men honorable in patriarchal and misogynist cultures.
During the Oscar season 2019, one of the big stories of the entertainment industry was Alfonso Cuarón’s ROMA. This film lives in Pituca and Poupée’s orbit. ROMA is the story of a servant living with a woman who was willing to “aguantar todo por la plata” but whose husband decided that he no longer wanted to remain within the family dynamic. In one of the pivotal scenes in ROMA, upon being betrayed by her husband, we see how tense the relationship between the wife and servant can be. In that scene, you can clearly see that the wife has definitely studied from the same playbook as Pituca.
So, what will become of that playbook as we emerge from the millennial and Z generations? In Las Herederas, liquidation becomes the only choice and with all the liquidation, we would expect that once the Pituca’s and the Chiqui’s and the Poupée’s are gone, the next generation won’t follow suit but throughout the film, there is always the next generation of blonde Paraguayan women who are rummaging through Poupée’s house to buy something vaguely European. The playbook endures…
La Yegros is an Argentine singer living and recording in Paris. Earlier this season, she released her third album called Suelta. We featured her first album and the track Cariño in 2015 on Intelatin. For this album, to coincide with the subject matter in Las Herederas, I asked La Yegros about money. Her responses, in Spanish, are included.
Can you walk us through all the expenses of creating a song like Alegría? (¿Cuanto cuesta distribuir una canción como Alegría?)
Una canción como alegría tiene los gastos que implican la grabación de músicos, del productor, los viáticos de cada uno para trasladarse al lugar, el alquiler de un estudio para grabar; Luego para promocionarlo es necesario hacer un video clip, entonces debemos pagar a un equipo de gente para que lo lleve a cabo. También si esta inmenso en el evento de la salida del album tenemos el gasto de un equipo de promoción para que que comunique al mundo que esa canción y las otras del disco, ya salieron a la calle. Hay un equipo de personas que trabajan por regiones en diferentes continentes para realizar la distribución de la canción en todas las plataformas digitales y físicas. Y finalmente hay personas que trabajan en la ejecución y administración de lo que va sucediendo tanto con esa canción como con el album en general. En este caso nuestro tercer disco “Suelta”, que será editado por mi propio sello discográfico Canta la Selva y licenciado por X-Ray.
After the song has been released, how and when do you earn money? (¿Después de sacar la canción, como se gana dinero?)
Una vez que la canción sale, mediante la compra de los discos y vinilos, como también mediante la escucha en las plataformas digitales el artista, los compositores y los asociados al proyecto comenzamos a ver los frutos o sea a obtener la recompensa económica.
After you receive the money, what do you like to spend it on? (¿Después de ganar dinero, como te gusta gastar el dinero?)
Básicamente me encanta gastar mi dinero en volver a invertirlo en el próximo proyecto, próximo video, próximo disco, próximo tour. Me da placer poder seguir sosteniendo mis sueños independientemente y sentir la evolución. Utilizar el dinero para poder seguir creciendo en mi profesión es uno de mis mayores placeres en la vida!
Intelatin produces and provides this knowledge production for Latina/os in the US to connect them with their root Latin American culture. This is our ninth year of production. We know that the U.S. educational system, both political forces and the mainstream media willfully obfuscate and distort this knowledge. Intelatin has no financial sponsors or support and is not paid for our contribution to your wisdom. Sergio C. Muñoz, the owner of Intelatin, makes the effort at his expense because he cares about you and your health and happiness. To connect with the producer, please send a note to smunoz (@) intelatin (dot) com