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Señorita Extraviada, Missing Young Woman
A film by Lourdes Portillo
US, 2001, 74 minutes, Color, DVD, Subtitled
Order No. W03776
SENORITA EXTRAVIADA, MISSING YOUNG WOMAN tells the haunting story of the more than 350 kidnapped, raped and murdered young women of Juárez, Mexico. Visually poetic, yet unflinching in its gaze, this compelling investigation unravels the layers of complicity that have allowed for the brutal murders of women living along the Mexico-U.S. border. In the midst of Juárez’s international mystique and high profile job market, there exists a murky history of grossly underreported human rights abuses and violence against women. The climate of violence and impunity continues to grow, and the murders of women continue to this day. Relying on what Portillo comes to see as the most reliable of sources – the testimonies of the families of the victims –SEÑORITA EXTRAVIADA, MISSING YOUNG WOMAN documents a two-year search for the truth in the underbelly of the new global economy. An Independent Television Service (ITVS) Production.


Sundance Film Festival - Special Jury Prize
Academy of C.A.S.-Mx.- Ariel, Best Mexican Doc.
IDA-nomination Distinguish Doc.Achievement Award
HumanRightsWatch Intel.FF, Nestor Almendros Prize
Thessaloniki FF, FIPRESCI Award, Best Foreign Film
Cinequest - Audience Award for Best Doc.
I.D.N.M.-Prix Tempete Radio, Best Feature Film
Fest.Intel.de Films De Femmes, Audience Award
Malaga Film Festival - Grand Prize Best Doc.
Barcelona Human Rights FF, Gold Gandhi Award

  • Toronto International Film Festival
  • Torino Film Festival
  • Goteborg Film Festival
  • San Francisco International Film Festival
  • Cleveland International Film Festival
  • Pacific Film Archives Human Rights Watch International Film Festival
  • Chicago International Film Festival
  • San Diego Latino Film Festival
  • San Antonio Cinefestival
  • Boston Women's Film Festival
  • Halfway to Hollywood Film Festival

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    "... filmmaker Lourdes Portillo steps into this chilling murder mystery with a haunting documentary…"
    Anne-Marie O'Connor
    Los Angeles Times

    "...moving account of an outrage that has continued for nearly a decade, with no end in sight. It's more gripping than 'Law & Order' and more tragic than anything a dramatist could invent."
    Joanne Weintraub
    Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

    "She (Lourdes Portillo) won a 1986 Oscar nomination for 'Las Madres: The Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo,' a film about political dissidents in Argentina, studied AIDS and Latinas in 'Vida' and explored the legacy of Tejano singer Selena in 'Corpus.' But nothing she's done has been as wrenching as 'Señorita Extraviada…'"
    Edward Guthmann
    San Francisco Chronicle

    "'Señorita Extraviada' is further proof that she (Lourdes Portillo) is one of the most important filmmakers chronicling the Latino Experience today."
    Mike McDaniel
    Houston Chronicle

    Davis Stratton

    "Telling the tale mainly through the words of the victims' relatives and news footage, Portillo recounts what is a haunting story of corruption and injustice but also one of courage in the face of nearly insurmountable odds."
    Minerva Canto
    The Orange County Register

    "...a stunning portrait of the callousness, willful ignorance and sheer incompetence of police investigating a horrifying, nearly decade-long string of killings in Mexico."
    Basem Boshra
    Montreal Gazette

    ”...a powerful film that bears witness to the humanity of the victims…and a powerful testament to the bravery of the women who have refused to be intimidated and have dared to speak out, organize and protest. 'Señorita Extraviada' is a cry of outrage and a call to activism.”
    Marcia Gillespie
    Ms. Magazine

    “Highly recommended for college, university and general adult collections…"
    Karen Plummer
    Educational Media Reviews Online

    "...unforgettable...strike[s] a note of resistance and...show[s] how sexual violence is a problem for different nationalities of women."
    Elizabeth Martinez
    Director, Institute for MultiRacial Justice

    “…serves as an example for girls and women struggling against justice. When the women of Juarez stand up and speak for themselves…we know that we can do the same in our communities.”
    Lu Henry
    Mujeres Latinas En Accion

    ”A powerful documentary that would be a wonderful addition to classes on Mexico, contemporary Latin America, gender, women, violence, work, the law, human rights, globalization and a host of other topics.”
    Ann Twinam
    Professor of History, University of Cincinnati

    Sarah Goodyear
    Time Out New York

    “Portillo’s film succeeds…Original, eloquent…”
    Rita Gonzalez
    Release Print

    " Nothing she's (Lourdes Portillo) done has been as wrenching as 'Señorita Extraviada'…'"
    Edward Guthmann
    San Francisco Chronicle

    "Elegiac, with low-key persistence, [director Lourdes Portillo] uncovers the outlines of what seem to be a vast conspiracy."
    Kevin Thomas
    Los Angeles Times

    "...[Portillo has created] a meditative investigation...with real poetic power."
    Stuart Klawans
    The Nation

    "Señorita Extraviada is a well-crafted documentary that can be used in the classroom to discuss structural, cultural, and direct violence against women in the context of capitalism. Besides, instead of giving a portrait of women as passive victims, they manage to show them as agents of change."
    Orianna Calderon
    Films for the Feminist Classroom

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    Señorita Extraviada, Missing Young Woman is included in the following Special Collections.
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