Las Elegidas (The Chosen Ones)
David Pablos’ second film Las Elegidas opens with intimate scenes from the Tijuana-set love story between 14-year-old Sofía (Nancy Talamantes) and slightly older Ulíses (Oscar Torres). The film sets the scene with all the precocious plans and puffed-up promises known of adolescent displays of affection, especially coming out of poor conditions and difficult backgrounds. Ulíses’ family however, operates a very particular business, and the youngest son is expected to make his first contribution. The ruthless father and his brother run a prostitution ring, picking up young girls and forcing them into selling their bodies in a well-guarded motel that serves as a prison-like bordello.
The immature man and his still childlike girlfriend set out to escape to the USA, but they are caught before making it to the border. Sofía is pitilessly inducted into her new home and profession, and even has to take a new name. She receives threats aimed at her family and is informed that the local police collaborate with the human traffickers. The audience has to go through painful scenes in which only the mute and motionless faces of the johns are shown alternating with Sofía’s, superimposed with the sounds of the sex she is coerced into having with them. When Ulíses asks his father to let her go, he demands one thing of him: to find another girl to replace Sofía.
Las Elegidas, produced by Gael Garcia Bernal and Diego Luna, is not an easy watch, but becomes most interesting in the moments depicting Ulíses’ moral conflict and ambiguity. At first, he refuses to give in to the pressure his family is putting onto him, but when he is presented with this only solution to save his love, he slowly gets corrupted into acting exactly according to their rules. He meets the extraordinarily cute Marta (Leidi Gutierrez) and makes use of all the methods of seduction and deceit that his brother has taught him. What might be saved in the end, even if his plans succeed, is therefore neither his innocence nor his humanity.
Las Elegidas does not yet have a UK release date.
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Watch the trailer of Las Elegidas here: