Skip to main content

The Heiresses (Las herederas) Marcelo Martinessi, Paraguay, 2018 94 minutes

Venue: Birkbeck 43 Gordon Square

Book your place

The Heiresses (Las herederas) + Panel Discussion

(Marcelo Martinessi, Paraguay, 2018 94 minutes)

Birkbeck Cinema                                        

Friday 9 June 6.00 pm 



The Heiresses (2018) is Marcelo Martinessi’s award-winning debut feature, set in his native Paraguay. By his own reckoning, it’s a designedly ‘small’ story. It is, after a fashion, a contribution to LGBTQ+ cinema; and yet, in its discreet way, not exactly. As it unfolds, relational, political and legal guilt shatter privacy and respectability.    

The heiresses of the title, Chela and Chiquita, are long-term lovers, even if they constitute what Martinessi has called a ‘fading’ couple. They occupy the house one of them has inherited. They’ve fallen on hard times and are selling off their possessions. In calling the film The Heiresses in the plural (Las herederas in Spanish), Martinessi directs our attention to more than just Chiquita’s house and movables. The women also in some sense inherit from the period of the dictatorship. Martinessi observes that ‘these women are the products of a very repressive society’, which bequeaths a ‘weird system of protection and oppression’. 

The weight of accumulated habits and silences threatens to bear down upon the present. Then Chiquita is arrested over a debt and incarcerated in a prison that seems in some ways livelier and freer than the home she has left. In her absence, Chela starts to explore other ways of living.  

Following the screening we will be joined by Mandy Merck, Kate Maclean and Elena Loizidou.


Contact name: