‘Mamacruz’: the orgasms of the elderly

The Venezuelan filmmaker Patricia Ortega compete in the film festival of Sundance with ‘mamacruz’a film starring the Spanish Kiti Mánver that explores sexuality in the elderly and with which the director explains that she “has been able to avenge” her grandmother (With the film) I avenged my grandmother (…) This is the orgasm that my grandmother did not have“Ortega said in an interview about the film that competes in the category for best international film.

Precisely, the story that her grandmother told her about how she lived her sexuality It left her deeply shocked. “A few months before she died, she told me: ‘I didn’t know sensuality, your grandfather would get on me, make me a son and that’s it,'” she recalled. This made the filmmaker aware that that woman had sacrificed “her body, her life, her desire and her right to be happy” to serve a family, sowed the seed of Mamacruz.

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A nude photo enhanced everything

But it was Ortega’s mother who germinated the idea, the day the filmmaker found a photograph of her mother in which she posed completely. nude. “My mom is super conventional, so when you find a nude photo of your mother, you say, well, what happened here?” She mentioned.

Knowing the version of the woman behind “mama’s mask”, led her to write the script of a lady who in the third age begins to explore their sexuality accompanied by a group of diverse friends willing to break the paradigms and moral norms of the feminine.

Kiti Mánver during the filming of the film. The protagonist acted in Woman on the verge of a nervous breakdown.

“It is a bit the theme of my life, I come from a very orthodox country, which despite everything it has lived through is still very conventional and very binary. I feel non-binary, I have never been able to live as a woman, and at the same time collide with that definition I like to work it from the body”, explained.

My mom is super conventional, so when you find a nude photo of her mother, you say, well, what happened here?

The conservative context in which the director grew up moved her to a town in Seville -where the film takes place- in which religion continues to play an important role for the community.

However, Ortega sought to portray the appropriation of beliefs in a more free way by mixing eroticism with religion, marking a fine line between devotion and desire that Mamacruz experiences throughout the film.

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The challenge of finding the protagonist

The director had great aspirations for her leading role, because I was looking for a woman over 60 years old that “she did not have the weight of age” both in her way of being, and in her physique, that in her daily life she was “mischievous and daring”, but that she could also be “sweet and tender”.

Another important issue was that the actress in question had to be willing to do nude scenes. Ortega went to the producer of the film Elm Figueredo and he, who had worked with Mánver on ‘El inconvenience’, did not hesitate to propose the actress who participated in ‘Women on the brink of a nervous breakdown’ (1988).

The idea of ​​having to show “the embarrassment” in the cinema frightened the one who would be the protagonist in the first instance, having the opportunity to put on the table the issue of sexuality in the elderly prompted her to put aside the modesty.

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I think this discussion is not about gender but about the problem we have to accept our bodies.

“You do your mind control and move on, there was a lot to tell about that desire that is absolutely legal and absolutely necessary. It was important to say that sex and eroticism are ageless,” said Kiti Mánver.

Another major challenge for the 69 year old actress was to restrict her movements when acting, because unlike her, Mamacruz appears stealthy, thoughtful and few words.

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“I have an excess of bodily expressiveness and Mamacruz is different. She only looks and lets herself be guided by what she sees and what seduces her and not being able to express much with her hands, she did not want to fall into the fact that in the end nothing of nothing,” he said.

Although the story focuses on the female experience, Ortega believes that the film can also connect with men and people of various ages. “I think this discussion is not about gender but about the problem we have accepting our bodies,” she concluded.

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‘Mamacruz’: the orgasms of the elderly

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