De eso no se habla (I Don't Want to Talk About It) is a movie from 1993 by the Argentine director Maria Luisa Bemberg. The protagonist is a young woman with acondroplasia. I had seen the movie years ago, but watching it again now in light of Belalu opened up a whole new dimension for me. I found it on Vimeo, but it doesn't have subtitles, so I'm not sure how many of you have seen or can see it.
A quick plot summary: The movie takes place in a small fictional town in Argentina during the 1930s. Carlota's mother realizes her daughter's condition when she's 2. She immediately tries to erase all references to dwarfs from the town and will not admit to anyone that her daughter is different. When she's 15, the town's most eligible bachelor, a man in his 50s (none other than Marcelo Mastroianni), falls in love with her and they get married. Then the circus comes to town and in spite of her mother and husband insisting she doesn't go to the show, in the middle of the night she goes to the encampment and ends up leaving with them, dressed as a queen and riding a white horse.
At first I was very annoyed that Carlota essentially runs away to join the circus. As "compensation" for her daughter's condition, her mother had made sure she was well educated. So, becoming a spectacle in the circus does not strike me as much more freeing than the life she was living before, nor dignifying of her intelligence. However, the rest of the movie is inspiring. Carlota, or Charlotte, as she prefers to be called after learning French, is a strong female. She embraces and even highlights her difference, much to the mortification of her mother. One of my favorite scenes is when she stands in front of the mirror in a slip and heels with an embroidered shawl, listening to tango and watching herself dance. Her mother walks in, and horrified at Charlotte's sensual admiration for her own body, rips the needle off the record. She then goes into her room, crying in despair, while we hear in the background the needle being placed back on the record as the music resumes and, we infer, Charlotte's dance and self-admiration continues. And I love how Charlotte rides off into the sunset on her own white horse, even after scoring the "knight in shining armor."
Charlotte has grace, poise, and wisdom beyond her years. She is smart and sensual and refuses to accept her mother's image of perfection, preferring to chose her own. The other characters' weaknesses are portrayed with humor, and the movie does a good job of sketching out this small town where secrets are impossible to keep. The movie was based on a short story by Julio Llinas, which I hope to read soon to see if and how his portrayal of Charlotte differs from Bemberg's.