Surrounded by extravagant luxury, Sofía de Garay (Ilse Salas) lives in a dreamlike cloud of opulence in 1980s Mexico City. Her days are filled with lavish soirees, designer dresses, country-club tennis matches, and all the pleasures reserved for the upper crust. In this world, appearances are everything and friendships are only as strong as your financial status. However, when Mexico’s 1982 economic crisis hits her husband’s business hard, the elegant lifestyle Sofia is accustomed to falls to pieces right before her eyes. Soon, her arrogance turns into desperation, as she is forced to confront her new reality. It’s only in her infatuation with Spanish singer Julio Iglesias that Sofia finds solace from the unbearable turmoil. Director Alejandra Márquez Abella’s film is a sumptuous examination of the privileged few trapped in their artificial microcosm of hypocrisy, superficiality, and immense loneliness.
The Good Girls was screened at 2019 Hola Mexico Film Festival, the following is our interview with the director of the film Alejandra Marquez Abella.
Cinema Without Borders: How did you come up with the idea of The Good Girls?
Alejandra Marquez Abella : This was a work for hire. I wasn’t sure I wanted to do it, I didn’t want to spend years of my life thinking about snobbish self-centered women. Turns out I was being snobbish! I’m so glad I did it.
CWB: How close is the world of your film to real life in 1982 Mexico?
AMA: Very Close, we did a lot of research.
CWB: You portrait the gradual fall of the rich families and their social class in The Good Girls, how did you achieve that?
AMA: Reading a lot about the situation back then and talking to the generation of my parents.
CWB: What is interesting in The Good Girls is that Sofia and her husband not only use their wealth, but in the process undermine, basic humanistic values. How did you develop the characters of The Good Girls?
AMA: I wanted them to be complex, I wanted to understand what happens to the rich when they lose their money, what’s the intangible that is lost.
CWB: Even we just have one of the Julio Iglesias’s songs in the background, and never see him, he has a important presence in the film, how did you come up with this part of the story?
AMA: Julio represents the colonialist and inspirational. For many Mexicans, anything that comes from Spain is better, I wanted to address this in a fun way.
CWB: Ilse Salas performance as Sofia is incredible, how did you go about casting of The Good Girls and how did you work with your actors?
AMA: I do a lot of table reads. Ilse was perfect because she wasn’t the character, I wanted her lefty political girl to be in trouble with the character.
CWB: What is your next project?
AMA: It’s the story of migration of my grandmother from Mexico to Chicago.