by Fernanda Tovar

Next Step 2023

Mexico, France

Feature Film

Paula and La Maestra, two 16-year-old teenagers, are the best friends in the world, and staunch competitors on their swimming teams. Sports rivalry takes a back seat when Paula is raped at a party. After hearing about the incident, La Maestra intends to avenge her friend in her own way, and the situation quickly spirals out of control. 

In Una Chica Triste, filmmaker Fernanda Tovar - driven by political and societal issues in Mexico - shares perspectives about popular justice in the post-#metoo era. Willing neither to judge nor to moralise, she grounds her story in a life forged by social media, and addresses the urgency to find educational tools for teenagers, especially in an extremely patriarchal society. As she taps into motifs of the revenge film, Fernanda Tovar also creates distance by using humour to accurately explore the complexities of such an event. Although it tackles a difficult issue, the film is a celebration of female friendship, in which Mexican feminist songs resonate painfully.