The Unlikeliest Wrestlers

More


I'm finishing up a piece right now on a couple of Indonesian pop groups from the 1960s and the global specter of "Beatlism." It feels quaint to revisit this past, its stories of paranoid regimes fearful of kids with long hair, leather ankle boots and a penchant for pop harmonies. But it's a reminder, too, that what is merely "counterculture" or novel in one nation might be "counterrevolutionary" or dangerously risque in another.

A similar kind of juxtaposition (albeit with radically lower stakes) powers Mamachas del Ring, a documentary about Bolivian "cholitas" trying to break into the male-dominated world of pro wrestling, only they insist on wearing their petticoats and bowler hats and drawing actual blood. There's a rare urgency to their self-invention and ringside mythologizing, and it's moving watching Carmen Rosa and her clique break from the local wrestling syndicate and build something on their own, by and for women--at times, the wrestling seems like the easy part. I watched it for the fourth or fifth time (full disclosure: it was made by a very good friend of mine, Betty M Park) and I always notice something new. And I always laugh. If you're in New York, it's screening this Thursday at the 92nd Street Y-Tribeca.

Jump to comments
Presented by

Hua Hsu teaches in the English Department at Vassar College and writes about music, sports, and culture. More

Hua Hsu teaches in the English Department at Vassar College and writes about music, sports, and culture. His work has appeared in The Atlantic, The New York Times, Bookforum, Slate, The Village Voice, The Boston Globe Ideas section and The Wire (for whom he writes a bi-monthly column). He is on the editorial board for the New Literary History of America.
Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

A Fascinating Short Film About the Multiverse

If life is a series of infinite possibilities, what does it mean to be alive?


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

The Death of Film

You'll never hear the whirring sound of a projector again.

Video

How to Hunt With Poison Darts

A Borneo hunter explains one of his tribe's oldest customs: the art of the blowpipe

Video

A Delightful, Pixar-Inspired Cartoon

An action figure and his reluctant sidekick trek across a kitchen in search of treasure.

Video

I Am an Undocumented Immigrant

"I look like a typical young American."

Video

Why Did I Study Physics?

Using hand-drawn cartoons to explain an academic passion

Writers

Up
Down

More in Entertainment

Just In