The Austin Chronicle

Tales That Must Be Told

Previewing the ninth Cine las Americas

By Frank Rivera, April 14, 2006, Screens


D: Barbara Attie and Janet Goldwater

Recalling aspects of the horridly exploitative media orgy surrounding Terri Schiavo's passing, Rosita is proof that the United States isn't the only country that tolerates the manipulation of individual suffering for political and religious talking points. In 2002, a 9-year-old Nicaraguan girl was allegedly raped by a neighbor on her way to school in rural Costa Rica. Local officials separated Rosita from her parents, believing that the resulting pregnancy might be the fault of her father. Questions are posed as to the girl's ability to either give birth or provide maternal care, and the talking heads – namely those of the Catholic Church, the Costa Rican and Nicaraguan governments, and human rights activists – jostle for control of an innocent's fate. Therapeutic abortion, or the ending of a pregnancy to ensure the safety of the mother, becomes the central debate in deeply Catholic country. As the conflict is played out in newspaper headlines and film bites, Rosita and her family struggle for the right to determine their own destinies in the face of extreme societal pressure. Unfortunately, Attie and Goldwater negatively frame certain arguments, calling into question their own objectivity; however, with subject material as highly politicized as this, Rosita begs the question, "Should the fight between life and choice be waged over one specific series of events?"

Saturday, April 22, 2pm, Hideout

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