Albertina Carri herself has gone on record for describing her latest film “Las hijas del fuego” [Eng. Title: Daughters of Fire] as feminist porn. But the ever so modest Carri has also packaged something extra in it, as the title suggests. It is an obvious reference to feminist angst, while also paying homage to the place where the (porn) road movie begins its journey – Tierra del Fuego, the southernmost tip of Argentina, and a mere ‘hop’ away from Antarctica. Now that’s shooting porn in some style!
Agustina (Mijal Katzowicz), an aquatics athlete training in the tundra, is thrilled when her filmmaker-lover (Carolina Alamino) comes visiting. Together they decide to go on a road trip up north to stop Agustina’s mother (Cristina Banegas) from disposing off her dead dad’s old banger – well, it holds an emotional value for Agustina.
This is the premise, but in keeping with the diktats of feminist porn, their journey will turn into an estrogen-fuelled voyage of promiscuity and rebellious hedonism. Picking up like-minded women along the way, they will indulge in threesomes, partner-swaps, and generally ‘go with the flow’ as often and wherever they can, as is expected in porn films. They even have to exchange their stolen SUV for a camper van, for lack of room.
But unlike your average Internet-era porn, we get to feast our eyes on threesomes against a stunning Patagonian backdrop, and lesbian re-enactments of Armando Bo’s film-scenes in resplendent black and white. There’s also a lesbian threesome in a church-setting while Agustina watches and masturbates from the door; deviant porn indeed!
The film features a grand sadomasochist-themed orgy mimicking what we might have seen in films elsewhere, the only difference being that this is organised by females, for females. Amidst their frolicking in the fiery tongues of unbridled sexuality, the girls find time to take on altruistic duties as well, like rescuing battered women from their horrible husbands, and showering love on women with low self-esteem; they truly become the daughters of fire. There in also lies Ms, Carri’s message.
It’s interesting to see Ms. Carri join a growing list of auteurs, from Gaspar Noé to Lars von Trier, dabble in porn-making just because they can. But her film is different from the others in that not all her protagonists conform to mainstream ideals, specifically male ideals of beauty and desirability. The dolly-mixture cast come in all shapes and sizes, and also include established mainstream actresses, albeit in non-sexual roles (Sofía Gala, Erica Rivas, and Cristina Banegas). Ms. Carri certainly believes that there is no difference between women despite appearances; that they are all truly beautiful and sexually desirable. She urges women (and probably men) to challenge male constructs, so who can argue with that. And yes, this isn’t exactly porn, it is rather a celebration of the female, and definitely Recommended Viewing..!
No DVD-Link (yet)
Not sure if it was screened in MUBI at some point, but will update this part when more information becomes available.
The Nudity: Mijal Katzowicz, Carolina Alamino, Rocío Zuviría, Wanda Rzonscinsky, María Eugenia Marcet, Ivanna Colona Olsen, Carla Morales Ríos, and others
The film features intermittent sex scenes of an explicit or kinky nature, and all the main cast perform non-simulated sex. There are BDSM-themed scenes, and one even suggesting female ejaculation (probably for the first time in any non-porn film). The alpine-meadow sex scene reminds one of German sex-comedies from the seventies, but the pièce de résistance is certainly the in-your-face masturbation, shot in real-time, as the group of revellers in the background gradually thin away. This long scene is the film’s closing shot, suggesting in auteur-terms perhaps, that she is the female voyeur as well as the participant. Hurrah to self-love!