The Queen

  • Manuel Abramovich
  • Argentina
  • 2013
  • 19 min
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We are in a village somewhere in Argentina, and it's carnival time. Memi is around 11 years old, and she's preparing to be Queen of the Carnival, a dazzling honor accompanied by costumes, sequins and a magnificent headdress. "The crown is huge, weighs four kilos, studded with rhinestones and amethysts," Memi’s mother proudly explains. While the mother and her girlfriends are lost in the excitement, Memi’s head is reeling from the tension. The camera watches the young girl in close-up. She is stoical – regal, even – as she suffers the attentions of the adults who are always offscreen. Memi’s face betrays nothing but her eyes speak volumes, such as when her mother extols the virtues of hair spray containing the anesthetic Lidocaine. In this case, it's clear you really do have to suffer for beauty – a lesson Memi learns early on. The camera captures Memi’s mixed expression of fear, pride and resignation perfectly. “Memi, a bit tighter?” asks her mother, to which the girl replies, “I don’t know, I don’t feel my head anymore.”

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Credits

  • 19 min
  • color
  • DCP
Director
Manuel Abramovich
Production
Daniela Raschcovsky for Salomon Cine
Executive producer
Melanie Schapiro for Salomon Cine, Manuel Abramovich
Cinematography
Manuel Abramovich, Juan Renau
Editing
Iara Rodriguez Vilardebó
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