Todas Las Flores

Thursday, Sept 14 at 2PM

Director: Carmen Oquendo-Villar
Colombia/Puerto Rico | 2023 | Spanish with English subtitles | 77 min | Documentary

Sliding Scale Tickets:
$10 / $13 / $15

Plus $3 VLAFF Membership required

Preceded by the short film Chicho by Arlen Aguayo Stewart.

Brothels are rarely seen as safe or dignifying. In the red-light district of Bogotá, the family-run brothel Tabaco y Ron functions as a shelter, shielding sex workers, many of whom are trans women, from the often hostile environment of the city. Since 2001, a 20-block quadrant of this notorious Santafé neighbourhood has been designated for legal sex work. All the Flowers constructs a complex portrait of the effects of civic policy on marginalized neighbourhoods, the history of Tabaco y Ron, and the fierce will of its inhabitants to blossom.

With rare exceptions, media accounts of Santafé portray a “ghetto” without laws or civility, a barrio of thugs, drug dealers, prostitutes, and war criminals willing to hustle any unsuspecting passerby. However, our experience working closely with residents has shown us other, much more human, aspects of life in this complex environment. After 13 years of working in Santafé and gaining the trust of its residents, the story of this unique “barrio” will now be portrayed in a non-sensational way. Todas Las Flores presents the story of a neighbourhood whose residents cling to life fiercely, despite being tremendously, sometimes fatally, impacted by the home.

Carmen Oquendo-Villar

Carmen Oquendo-Villar

Carmen Oquendo-Villar is a Puerto Rican filmmaker and visual artist whose work has been exhibited worldwide. Her short films include Carmelo (2013), The Needle (2012), and Mizery (2006). She is a current Sundance Humanities Sustainability Fellow and a past Guggenheim Fellow. She studied film, photography, and performance art at NYU and in the Film Study Center at Harvard University, where she also obtained a Ph.D. in literature. As a differently-abled artist, her work focuses on disability issues and trans groups in Latin America and within Latinx communities in the USA.