Winner of the Berlinale Silver Bear Alfred Bauer Prize for opening new perspectives and the Silver Bear for Best Actress for Ana Brun, writer/director Marcelo Martinessi’s debut drama The Heiresses is a piercing and emotionally compelling look into the lives of the wealthy through the tribulations of a hesitant woman in quiet crisis.
Asunción, Paraguay, 2013. Sixty-somethings Chela (Ana Brun, superb in her debut performance) and Chiquita (Margarita Irún), both descendants of wealthy families, have been living together for more than thirty years. Times have changed though, and with debts mounting, the couple begins to sell-off some precious heirlooms to stay afloat. But the financial situation proves untenable, and convicted of fraud, Chiquita is sent to prison by a court order.
Suddenly, the sheltered Chela must fend for herself. Swallowing her pride, she reluctantly begins working as a chauffeur for the wealthy women of the neighbourhood. The changed circumstances lead her to, perhaps for the first time, contemplate her life and the choices she’s made…
Subtle, perfectly modulated and impeccably performed, Martinessi exquisitely balances character study with shrewd commentary on class, desire and privilege to tell an intimate and serenely rewarding story of loss, loyalty and self-determination.