80 min

Ve vývoji

The Poor Cry Too

Varguoliai irgi verkia

Režie: Viktorija MickuteIeva Balsiunaite


Lithuania. 1992. The Soviet Union has just officially collapsed, and the freedom is yet to be tasted. It’s a dark winter morning. Some people are trying to squeeze into overfilled trolleybuses, others are standing in lines winding from supermarkets with empty shelves. Just a few hours later though, the streets become eerily empty, and cashier women are nowhere to find. From every corner small TVs are emanating the same sound - yelling and crying in Spanish. Everybody’s watching the hugely popular Mexican telenovela The Rich Also Cry.

“It worked as a mass psychotherapy,” reflects Dalia Leinartė, Lithuanian historian writing about women’s rights. Telenovelas sold the Mexican dream to mostly female viewers who lacked colors and excitement in their lives, as they were extremely tired of working two jobs, and also doing the housework and raising children. “The women on screen, who were kind, loved deeply and prayed – would always find happiness at the end. And we wanted that!” says 62-year-old Regina, an oncologist.

Mexican actress Veronica Castro, who played the protagonist in The Rich Also Cry, remembers how she entered the Moscow theatre stage. “When they saw me, they didn’t applaud, they simply cried,” Veronica reminisces on her trip to Russia in 1992. She was received as a goddess, as the telenovela was a huge hit across the post-Soviet region. Never married, Veronica now spends most of her time with her grandchildren in her ocean-facing house in Acapulco.

Telenovelas showed the world that was so distant and new to Lithuanian reality. The women started questioning their role at home and in society, and embracing new ways of life, including becoming housewives or participating in the beauty contest. Young girls, in the meantime, started dreaming of this ‘magical’ place – Mexico. As the situation stabilized in Lithuania and the region, telenovelas became a distant memory but their importance to the collective story of a small country lingers until now.
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