The expression Sirwiñakuy basically describes a tradition practiced
by some indigenous Andean tribes of men kidnapping their potential wives
and live with them for any amount of time (some times years) to figure out
if they are at all compatible. If yes, marriage is to follow, if no, the
woman is let go ...
It all starts in a café: Luis (Jac Avila) finds a
girl in the crowd, Anouk (Veronica Paintoux), whom he feels immediately
attracted to - hardly surprising, she is rather attractive. She feels his
gazes, and even though he is a great deal older than her, and not the best
looking guy in the room, she feels weirdly drawn to him, too. So when he
rather out of the blue asks her to come with him, she agrees. They go to
her place, where she packs a few things, then move on to his place. Luis's
place turns out to be a decaying apartment filled with bookcases and
furniture from a time before Anouk or even Luis were born. Anouk feels
terribly out of place, but something tells her not to leave. Even when
Luis treats her with the utmost arrogance and talks down to her, she
sticks with him. That night, they share a bed, but don't have sex.
next day, Anouk meets Geoff (Erik Antoine), her ex from high school who
still cares for her, in a café. Their conversation makes her forget the
time - and when she comes home for dinner, Luis pulls down her pants and
panties and spanks her. She sticks with him. The next day, he buys her
clothes, clothes that are absolutely not her style, and that her grandmother
would have worn. She sticks with him still. Then Luis wants to cut her
hair, but she says no and stands her ground - even if that results in him
raping her. Still, she sticks with him.
In the next few days, Luis
humiliates Anouk in quite a few ways. Sometimes he almost overdoes it, and
on occasion she prepares to leave - but always lacks the determination to
go through with it.
Only a week after their last meeting, she meets with
Geoff again - and he is shocked to see her totally changed, the fun-loving
girl he knew has suddenly turned in a submissive with no will of her own,
but everytime he questions her about her domestic situation, she evades
his questions. But he may have planted the seed of rebellion in her ...
here to open the Spoiler Pop-up!
feminists and followers of the church of political correctness will
probably dislike this film for its supposed patriarchal undercurrents and
for showing the woman in a victim role - and of course couldn't be further
from the truth, as Sirwiñakuy isn't at all about gender policies
but a very empathetic portrayal of a master/slave relationship that also
shows the weaknesses of the master-role as well as the sources of
empowerment of the slave character. And it's all captured in extremely
moody and powerful images by first-time director Amy Hesketh, who manages
to make this a film of high erotic tension, even if (or rather because)
the sexy bits never become self serving. And Veronica Paintoux brings just
the right mix of vulnerability and sexual power to her role to make
it hers from frame one.
Oh, and if my
review at all got you interested, you may want to get the movie from here: