Screened Sunday, October 12, 2008
From Pablo Escobar’s Medellín, Colombia—a city infamous for its brutal crime and its beautiful women—comes the feature-length documentary, CAPTIVE BEAUTY. It’s an intimate portrait of four women, jailed for murder, kidnapping, revolution, and con-artistry, who are brought together by a beauty pageant held inside the prison walls.
The weeklong pageant transforms the prison into colorful and controlled mayhem, and serves as a jumping off point to explore the contestants’ lives. Leave the prison to meet their ex-boyfriends. Visit their hometowns. Walk with their victims through the scene of their crimes.
You will get to know four women—Catalina, Leidy, Diana, and Marta—who grew up in the most violent city on earth. Candid and intimate interviews with each of them—about their childhood, their crimes, their notions of femininity, beauty, and innocence—help narrate the film. Diana is compassionate and girlish in one moment, and in the next she recounts stabbing her brother-in-law in the neck 36 times. Leidy confesses to a robbing spree through little towns across Colombia, and weeps as she describes her regret in leaving her son without his mom.
Combining intimate pageant footage from inside the prison, with home videos, family photos, and provocative interviews with their friends, families, and enemies, CAPTIVE BEAUTY brings these women’s stories to life. It is a tale both universal and entirely unique, sexy and brutal, where themes of innocence and femininity are turned on their heads and the criminal, for a day, becomes queen.