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Criticism | Rita Moreno: Just a Girl Who Decided to Go is a beautiful documentary about one of the great living legends of cinema

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Watched movie during the 2021 Sundance Film Festival

An important milestone in the film industry, Rita Moreno transformed the seventh art with her stunning beauty and undeniable talent. Unlocking its Latin roots in an America in full consolidation, it was the gateway to the representation that we see increasingly growing in the twenty-first century.

A stranger to the countryside and to Hollywood, the actress and singer has traveled the most arid and artistic grounds for contemporary American cinema to function. And in Rita Moreno: Just a Girl Who Decided to Go, documentary director Mariem Pérez Riera allows us to meet the iconic star, in her own words.

An image by Rita Moreno: Just a Girl Who Decided to Go by Mariem Pérez Riera, an official selection from the US Documentary Competition at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute.
All photos are copyrighted and may only be used by press for information purposes or for editorial coverage of Sundance Institute programs. Photos must be accompanied by credit to the photographer and / or “courtesy of Sundance Institute”. The unauthorized use, modification, reproduction or sale of logos and / or photos is strictly prohibited.

The little over an hour and a half of documentary is unable to condense the extent of Moreno’s work and life, but the director does so with surgical skill and precision, covering all the extremes and nuances of the actress. And here, we see everything from an encouraging and optimistic point of view, watered by the sympathy that Rita has always had.

Bringing together a unique collection of personal archives, amid very well-crafted and dynamic collages – which bring freshness to the narrative, Just a Girl Who Decided To Go For It is told in first person and imbued with testimonials from actors of of Latin origin who were directly impacted by their daring and avant-garde. In addition, relatives, professional colleagues and especially her best friend, star Morgan Freeman, give their two fingers in prose, in nostalgic anecdotes that reveal an even more passionate side of the artist.

An image of Rita Moreno: Just a Girl Who Decided to Go by Mariem Pérez Riera, an official selection from the American Documentary Competition at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo: from the Tony Awards, used with permission from Tony Awards Productions. Copyright 1975 by Tony Awards Productions. All rights reserved. TONY AWARDS is a registered trademark of American Theater Wing, Inc. Used with permission. All rights reserved.
All photos are copyrighted and may only be used by press for information purposes or for editorial coverage of Sundance Institute programs. Photos must be accompanied by credit to the photographer and / or “courtesy of Sundance Institute”. The unauthorized use, modification, reproduction or sale of logos and / or photos is strictly prohibited.

Opening to the public with lightness and without commitment, Rita Moreno exposes her deepest traumas, with a soft and delicate sigh that there is always a new beginning, even in the midst of so much pain. Recalling her emotionally violent relationship with Marlon Brando and the victim of sexual abuse suffered on another occasion within the Hollywood industry, the actress speaks candidly about the adversities of a Latin woman in American cinema, reflecting on an ancient culture of rape which is still the target. clash in mid-2021.

And through rare behind-the-scenes footage of some of her most iconic works, we got to know the actress in a unique and unique way, as someone who – from an early age – was aware of her role. as an immigrant who often marginalized in racist stereotypes.

Enjoy watching:

An image of Rita Moreno: Just a Girl Who Decided to Go by Mariem Pérez Riera, an official selection from the American Documentary Competition at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo: West Side Story copyright 1961 MetroGoldwynmayer Studios Inc. All rights reserved. Courtesy of MGM Media Licensing.
All photos are copyrighted and may only be used by press for information purposes or for editorial coverage of Sundance Institute programs. Photos must be accompanied by credit to the photographer and / or “courtesy of Sundance Institute”. The unauthorized use, modification, reproduction or sale of logos and / or photos is strictly prohibited.

Sincere, unfiltered and unqualified, the production draws a clever parallel in the actress’ trajectory, showing the historic bias emblematic of her rise to world cinema. With a deep and intimate look, Rita Moreno: Just a Girl Who Decided to Go is a gift from the actress during her lifetime and an incredible memory of a career that is far from slowing down.

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