Acting Lessons

Researcher and Production Assistant: Diego Mosquera

Director: Manuel Contreras

Producer: Russ Finkelstein

“I have always been surrounded by poverty and it was poverty that stole what was most precious to me.”

Maria is fighting back. After 10 years of poverty, prostitution, drugs and crime, she is turning her life around through theatre, expressing her past experiences and helping others to leave prostitution.

She juggles a tough life. As a street vendor she struggles to support her daughter as a single parent and cope with having HIV. But on the stage she shines with the joys of being part of a theatre troupe, many of them former prostitutes, who are trying to make a difference through their art.

The film follows Maria starring as the ‘First Lady’ in a modern adaptation of Lysistrata , the Greek story of how women withheld sex to persuade their husbands to negotiate peace.

From early rehearsals to opening night we see her and her troupe cope with the highs and lows behind the scenes. Against this backdrop, Maria and her teenage daughter grapple with the impact of Maria’s HIV status, her past and the challenges facing women in Colombia today.

Through this film we will see some of the challenges being faced by Colombian women through Maria’s remarkable story.



Watch on Al Jazeera English website.