The Precocious & Brief Life of Sabina Rivas DVD Review

PBL3Honduran girl Sabina Rivas is dreaming of becoming a music star. The problem is that in Honduras, a girl like Sabina is literally stuck. She is beautiful, clever and poor. It is impossible to achieve anything other than to become an older mans plaything. America is the land where it could happen and in America it is more hopeful than here. To get to America it will need help and some money. She embarks on a journey that might change her life or at least her course. Her aunt will help her for a price. That price is unclear to Sabina but not to us.  Travelling to Mexico via the usual illegal migration routes, she gets to the border and is held. Then she is taken to a cell and forced to wait. A guard takes her to the showers and then her new life is unravelled. It would seem that along the way she will be the subject of sexual exploitation, drug gangs, migrant murder and even more.

PBL2South America is a place that has a vibrant and energetic cinema industry. It also has very difficult layers of sexual and political agendas that police this world and inform the culture of representation. This film plays a lot on the horrors of day to day migrant life and underlines the suffering of the people that are looking for better but become invisible. This film is not an easy watch at all. It hurts sometimes to see the scenes of abuse. They are casual and almost so savage as to be unthinkable. Remember that this goes on. Director Luis Mandoki has had a mixed career with duds like Angel Eyes but this finds him balance the real events with a half decent story. Narrative balance is essential for the audience and he keeps it paced and tonally correct. Greisy Mena deserves accolades for her role as the fragile and soft girl that becomes a tough and direct woman. She makes it her own and you will fall in love with her beauty and intelligence.

PBL1The disc is vanilla and sadly this will put off many a film. I would object to paying the full amount for it but would say the film is a worthy watch if not a harrowing piece of modern cinema. It deserves an audience but should have been treated with care and consideration.


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