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The Rose Seller

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Directed by the iconic Colombian poet and filmmaker Victor Gaviria, The Rose Seller is a poignant portrayal of life in the streets of Medellín, Colombia. Its premiere was an event that captured the attention of the entire country and has since become a classic film.

The story follows the misfortunes of a group of girls in their early teens, all separated from their families and making a living for themselves. Monica is 13 years old and has already rebelled against everything. She has created her own world in the streets, where she courageously fights to defend what little she has: her young friends, her drug dealer boyfriend, her dignity, and her pride that makes no concessions to anyone. On Christmas night, like every night, she sells roses to couples in trendy nightspots and sniffs glue to fill the desperate emptiness with passing visions of lost family and friends. Monica hopes to buy herself the dream of a party with fireworks, new clothes, and a date with her boyfriend.

This film’s title deliberately recalls Hans Christian Andersen’s tragic fairy tale "The Little Match Girl," which served as the model for the story of street children. Gaviria uses a constantly moving camera to follow the cast of very young nonprofessionals with relentless intensity as they travel between the slums where they live to upscale city streets and back again. The film bears astonishing witness to Gaviria’s ability to cast and work with untrained actors, several of whom, like some of the performers in Rodrigo D, were dead within months of the film’s production.

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