The Fighting Cholitas


Reviewed by: Amber Wilkinson

The Fighting Cholitas
"One of the best short films on show at EIFF 2007."

Cholita is the term given to the indigenous women of Bolivia – easily spotted thanks to the their traditional dress of layered skirts and shawls. Each week a group of these women gets into the ring, skirts and all, to wrestle in front of huge crowds. Mariam Jobrani’s exuberant short talks to the women to find out why they choose to fight and watches them in action.

What emerges is a complex set of reasoning, based on pride in who they are and what the clothes they wear stand for. This isn’t just a fight in an arena, but a fight for identity as well. Jobrani deftly mixes footage of the women training and later fighting in the ring with shots of them going about their daily chores and domestic business.

Her camera keeps on the move, mirroring the women’s energy and bringing an immediacy to the film. If you aren’t so carried away on her wave of enthusiasm that you find yourself rooting for them in the ring, you have no soul. One of the best short films on show at EIFF 2007.

Reviewed on: 22 Aug 2007
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Exploration of the life and motivations of Bolivian female wrestlers. Showing as part of Document Shorts at EIFF 2007.

Director: Mariam Jobrani

Year: 2006

Runtime: 20 minutes

Country: Bolivia, US

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