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CORPUS: A Home Movie for Selena
A film by Lourdes Portillo
1999, 47 minutes, Color, DVD, Spanish, Subtitled
Order No. W06905
This classic rerelease from award-winning filmmaker Lourdes Portillo (Señorita Extraviada, Las Madres: The Mothers of Plaza de Mayo ) is a complex tribute to Selena, the Tejana superstar gunned down in 1995 at the age of 23 by the president of her fan club, just as she was on the brink of blockbuster crossover fame. While the story of her murder, which was filled with sex, glamour and betrayal, caught the attention of many outside the Chicano community, this film moves well beyond the sensational to present a nuanced feminist analysis of Selena's story.

Clips of rare home movies, family photos, and glossy music videos from later in Selena's career are interspersed with lively conversations with her father, sister and Latina intellectuals that shed light into just who Selena was and what makes her such a powerful figure today. Staying true to the “home movie” feel, Portillo interviews ordinary people in Selena's hometown of Corpus Christie, including starry-eyed teenaged fans and tearful strangers who visit her grave. With a compassionate lens, Portillo places Selena's life and legacy in a cultural context, revealing powerful social forces that transformed a popular entertainer into a Chicana cultural icon turned modern-day saint.


San Francisco Int’l Film Festival, Golden Spire

  • San Diego Latino Film Festival
  • Vancouver International Film Festival
  • La Biennale Di Venezia
  • Santa Fe Film Festival
  • Taos Talking Pictures

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    “Brilliant, intense, visceral, and certainly one of the warmest documentaries about Latinas ever made…Another masterful work that fits well into the Portillo pantheon.”
    Deborah Martin
    San Diego Latino Film Festival

    “Corpus traces Selena's life from a Latina feminist perspective… Portillo's film makes astute and sometimes pointed observations about celebrity, class, beauty, fame, and culture.”
    Belena Acosta
    The Austin Chronicle

    “A dynamic, skillfully crafted documentary… presents a sharp and moving portrait of a talented, ambitious yet accessible star who put Tejano music on the national map of popular culture.”
    San Francisco Film Festival

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    CORPUS: A Home Movie for Selena is included in the following Special Collections.
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    Filmmaker's Website
    More information about Lourdes Portillo, her films, her production company and her installations. Includes links to articles about Portillo’s work, context and influence.

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WMM offers film collections on a variety of specific subject areas, including the collections VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN: Ending the Silence, BODY IMAGE, and AFRICAN-AMERICAN: Celebrate the Lives of African-American Women.

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© Women Make Movies, 2005
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Women Make Movies is a multicultural, multiracial, non-profit media arts organization which facilitiates the production, promotion, distribution, and exhibition of independent films and videotapes by and about women. contact us