Film Noir: Victims of Sin (12A)
A sizzling, feverish melodrama set in Mexico City’s red-light district nightclubs, this explosive rumbera film stars the white-hot Ninón Sevilla.
Sensational Cuban dancer Sevilla, a huge international superstar by the 1950s, plays Violeta, a cabaret dancer at the Club Changoo who retrieves a new-born baby boy thrown by a co-worker into a bin (significantly located directly in front of the city’s Monument to the Revolution). Against the odds, turning even to prostitution, Violeta raises the child as her own, all the while defending him from his father, the ruthless, zoot-suited gangster-pimp Rodolfo (Acosta). For all the feisty maternal self-sacrifice, it’s the showstopping dance numbers that are key – outrageously sublime.
J. Hoberman, Art Forum
Screened in collaboration with Film Noir and South West Silents.