Tijuana-Set Drama ‘Las Elegidas’ Hit Big at Cannes Last Year and Is Now on Netflix

Lead Photo: 'Las elegidas' still courtesy of Netflix
'Las elegidas' still courtesy of Netflix
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It’s been just over a year since we shared an exclusive trailer for David Pablos’ Las Elegidas (The Chosen Ones), which took Mexican cinema to Cannes for yet another edition before running a few victory laps through festivals like San Sebastián, Stockholm, and Zurich. Now, to put a bow on a packed year of international acclaim, Las Elegidas has made its way home where it’s been nominated for no less than 13 Ariel Awards from Mexico’s motion picture academy (AMACC). In short, it’s the latest arthouse hit from a country that’s turned into a veritable factory of cinematic excellence… So when do us regular folk get to see it?

The answer, to be precise, is right now. And no, you won’t have to drive to your nearest global metropolis to catch it at some prestigious art cinema. In fact, Netflix has done us the favor of bringing Las Elegidas’ U.S. release into the 21st century by beaming it directly to our phones, tablets, and Apple TVs. Sure, it’s not quite the same as beholding an auteur’s vision on the big screen, but at least our readers in Billings, Montana will have the pleasure of screening Pablos’ award-winning second feature the same day as an Upper East Side art maven.

Las Elegidas follows the Tijuana-based story of adolescent Ulises, whose sincere love for his girlfriend Sofía is complicated when his father forces him to join the family business. As Ulises reluctantly enters the sordid world of human trafficking and forcing women into prostitution alongside his older brother, he is compelled to exploit his deep bond with Sofía in order to make her his first victim.

In other words, it’s not exactly Netflix-and-chill material — unless your chill partner gets his or her kicks out of gritty urban realism, or naturalistically-lit, documentary-style cinematography. And if that’s the case, all the better. So heat up some popcorn, turn down the dimmers, and see what the film festival jet-set has been talking about for going on a year now.