‘Sunday Beauty Queen’ makes US debut in San Diego
The “Queens” are going places.
A week before its screening at the Hot Docs fest in Toronto, Canada, Baby Ruth Villarama’s documentary, “Sunday Beauty Queen,” will make its North American (and United States) debut at the 7th San Diego Asian Film Festival Spring Showcase in Southern California, from April 20 to 27.
The fest’s website describes Villarama’s film as “a heartfelt documentary that captures the lives of overseas Filipino workers” who mount and compete in beauty pageants in Hong Kong. The director will attend the premiere on April 22 at UltraStar Mission Valley, which will feature an open forum,
as well. Another screening will be held in the same venue on April 24.
On the fest’s website, critic Brian Hu points out that these pageants celebrate the Filipino domestic helpers’ “culture, sisterhood and individuality.”
The docu shows how “the harsh, thankless realities of domestic labor are interrupted by only momentary glimpses of play and fantasy.”
Says Hu: “Villarama captures so well the details of a life where there is little boundary between the personal and professional spheres.”
The Queens’ struggles, Hu notes, “make the pageant that much more propulsive and emancipatory: the women dance, strut and color their lives, self-fashioning their self-worth and entertaining each other to instill pride on Sunday and beyond.”
This year’s edition of the San Diego fest boasts its “largest” showcase yet, offering 20 “spectacular” films from 10 countries, “celebrating filmmakers, documentarians and those who explore freedom through the art of film.”—BAYANI SAN DIEGO JR.
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