Review: ¡Las Sandinistas! (2019 LVFF)

Title: ¡Las Sandinistas!
Rating: NR
Director: Jenny Murray
Starring: Dora Maria Tellez, Daisy Zamora
Runtime: 1 hr 36 mins

What It Is: A group of female activist veterans recall their experiences taking over the oppressive government of poverty-stricken Nicaragua in the 1979 Sandinista Revolution. They provide their perspectives on war, adaptation, education, sexism, and social and political progress as they struggled and still struggle to reform their country for the better. 

What We Think: Wow. What a powerful and fun movie—and that’s not necessarily speaking on behalf of the filmmaking itself, though the delivery is certainly solid. On that point, the score appropriately goes a little harder than for most others made for documentaries, which perfectly backed up the badass subjects and their stories. The editing was also quite on point, including a satisfying plethora of archive film and images. But we’re not exactly here for how nice the movie is put together: rather, the film’s strength as a work of art undoubtedly comes from our amazing storytellers. What they have to say about waging a war for human rights is altogether important, intense, sad, horrifying, graphics, and riveting. Best of all: it is inspiring, namely considering what exactly they accomplished in a time and place where women weren’t supposed to act outside of tradition or speak out, nonetheless fight and lead a war. It’s an incredible watch—sometimes heartbreaking, other times uplifting—about incredible people.

Our Grade: B+, Everyone should see this. It’s an important account of history, as it not only pertains to Nicaraguans or women but the United States as well. And it’s still going on today. A revealing, motivating, considerate, and wild ride about political corruption, independence, and the heavy truths we have to face when fighting what we believe in.


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Chai Simone Written by: