Refreshingly sparse with gorgeous visuals, the story of Carajita boils just under the surface. Set in the Dominican Republic, Carajita paints a picture of the social structures of Central America through the story of three women.
Sara (played by Cecile Van Welie) is a child of privilege. Her nanny of many years, Yarisa (Magnolia Núñez) comes from a very different background, yet is the most important person Sara can relate to.
Sara’s family moves to the coastal town of Las Terrenas after several years absence. For Yarisa, the move brings her back to her hometown, and to her biological daughter Mallory (Adelanny Padilla) whom she left behind. Despite the time apart, Mallory attempts to reach out wanting to connect, but Yarisa holds back, almost indifferent.
Sara and Mallory become friends – the neglected Mallory desperate to make any connection with her mother, even if it’s with the child of her mother’s employer. Mallory appears to fit in with this new social circle, until an accident forces these worlds to collide.
It is at times unsettling watching Yarisa’s affection for Sara, while her own daughter craves the merest of attention. All three actors are ever so subtle with their characters’ emotions; it will leave you craving more in the final moments.
The film will make its Australian premiere at this year’s Spanish Film Festival at Palace Barracks and Palace James Street. Check the festival website for screening times.
Length: 88 min
Language: Spanish with English subtitles
Director: Silvina Schnicer, Ulises Porra Guardiola
Cast: Cecile Van Welie, Magnolia Núñez, Adelanny Padilla, Genesis Buret, Javier Hermida