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Las Marthas
A film by Cristina Ibarra
US, 2013, 69 minutes, Color, DVD
Order No. W141127

Unlike any other, the annual debutante ball in Laredo, Texas is part of a lucrative month-long festival honoring George Washington’s birthday. LAS MARTHAS follows two young women as they prepare for this elaborate rite of passage: Laurita, a 13th-generation debutante descended from Laredo’s original Spanish land grantees who questions debutante society’s class system geared toward girls like herself; and Rosario, a high-achieving, Mexican-raised and U.S.-schooled outsider struggling to understand the elite society’s unspoken rules.

Tracing the event’s origins back to 1898, the film works to unravel why a town like Laredo – with a population that is 98% Mexican – feels such affinity for America’s Founding Father. Despite history and all odds, the celebration perseveres and flourishes thanks to the Mexican American girls who wear the gilded burden of our past. LAS MARTHAS is a beautifully drawn and sometimes humorous, coming of age portrait of these two young women as they navigate this complex tradition in a time of economic uncertainty and political tension over immigration and Border relations between the US and Mexico.



AWARDS, FESTIVALS, & SCREENINGS

  • Ambulante California
  • San Diego Latino Film Festival
  • CineFestival San Antonio

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QUOTES

    "Ibarra has intuitively seized on and explored this unique legacy, which clearly demonstrates the vibrant bi-culture of Texas and shows how aptly the founding father narrative belongs to Mexican Americans."
    Indiewire

    "A fascinating look at a world barely known outside of Texas.."
    Laredo Sun

    "Las Marthas is so expertly told that by the end of the movie you’re at the edge of your seat."
    The Current

    "Lovingly put together… You'll be enthralled."
    The Examiner

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