Victims of Sin (1951)

  • Victims of Sin: Ninón Sevilla as Violeta.
  • Victims of Sin: Ninón Sevilla as Violeta.
  • Victims of Sin: Ninón Sevilla as Violeta.
  • Victims of Sin: Ninón Sevilla as Violeta and Rodolfo Acosta as Rodolfo.
  • Victims of Sin: Ninón Sevilla as Violeta.

Archivists Viviana García-Besné and Peter Conheim in person for Q&A after the screening

Critic’s Pick! “OUTSTANDING. LARGER-THAN-LIFE. Sevilla, the Cuban-born star of musical rumberas films, plays our heroine, Violeta, with irresistible verve.”

– Nicolas Rapold, The New York Times

“SORDID. TUMULTUOUS. A PERFECT STORM. It was directed and cowritten by the nation’s most macho filmmaker, it was shot by Mexico’s greatest cinematographer, and it stars filmdom’s ultimate rumbera.”

– J. Hoberman, Artforum

“AN EXEMPLAR OF NOIR. Imagine Guys and Dolls by way of Los Olvidados as overseen by Robert Siodmak. Oh, and don’t forget to add a top-flight band and a fetching chanteuse.”

– Mario Naves, The New York Sun

“SEVILLA IS THE BEATING HEART OF THE FILM. Fernández and Figueroa exalt the star, capturing Sevilla in trembling close-ups and framing her as if at the center of the universe.”

– Beatrice Loayza, 4Columns

Rarely screened in the United States and long due for rediscovery, Victims of Sin is famed Mexican director Emilio Fernández’s unique blend of film noir, melodrama, and musical. Acting-dancing sensation Ninón Sevilla plays Violeta, a cabaret performer who adopts the abandoned child of Rita (Rita Montaner) and Rodolfo (Rodolfo Acosta), her murderous pimp. Motherhood forces Violeta to give up her career, but the kindhearted club owner Santiago (Tito Junco) saves her from a life of poverty and prostitution—until Rodolfo, freed from prison, seeks to reclaim his son. Best known for the award-winning María Calendaria (1944) and The Pearl (1947), Fernández infuses Victims with impassioned songs and performances by Sevilla, an icon of Mexican cinema and a purveyor of African, Caribbean, and Cuban dance styles.

VICTIMS OF SIN was fully restored in 4K from the original 35mm nitrate camera negative, which had been damaged from mishandling over the decades, by Peter Conheim (Cinema Preservation Alliance/USA) and Viviana Garcia-Besné (Permanencia Voluntaria/Mexico). Permanencia Voluntaria and Cinema Preservation Alliance co-produced the preservation effort with further assistance from IMCINE and the Academy Film Archive, bringing VICTIMS OF SIN back to the screen with a clarity and depth not seen since its original release.

Presented by RoxCine.

1h 24m
Emilio Fernández
Spanish with English subtitles
First Showing
December 16, 2023
  • Assisted Listening


Saturday, December 16, 2023 4:00 PM
Location Big Roxie

Note films start right at the listed showtime.
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