During lockdown, I decided to expand upon my Netflix viewing and came across a strange but weirdly captivating telenovela called Sin Senos No Hay Paraiso.
It follows a former prostitute in the local town of Pereira in Columbia who’s become a DEA agent to escape the narco lifestyle she once chose.
In this town, girls from poor neighbourhoods are targeted and groomed to become sex traffickers and mules, but of course, it’s made incredibly attractive to them through the promise of breast implants, money, and fame.
At the heart of this criminal movement is a character named ‘Diabla,’ a Madame, that lures the girls in. As the series progresses she becomes the biggest and most feared cartel leader in South America and Mexico.
This is no ordinary series. Alongside the narco violence, the lead characters are women. You really get a sense of the small-town mentality and local culture, but it’s approached in a humorous and compassionate way.
Sin Senos No Hay Paraíso also has the craziest plot lines.
There are curses, witchcraft, the occult, voodoo sex addicts, sex curses, mad identity changes with macabre face and body transplants.
*SPOILER ALERT* There’s a memorable scene where character Diabla embalms her dead daughter and keeps her in a room like a shrine. She also drives her around the town in the car at night…There’s some really dark stuff that definitely turned up in my dreams.
The cons of the series are that there’s a lot of repetition in the dialogue, an obsessive use of flashbacks, timelines that are all over the place where one scene can span across three episodes.
But even with all of that, this is a series to remember! In my opinion, series three onwards is the best.
Just so you have an idea what I’m talking about, take a look at series three recap below:
This series actually made me realise that I’ve always been surrounded by melodrama (not just my own), but I remembered hearing the opening sequence to Dallas daily on my grandparent’s television.
I loved watching the city shots, juxtaposed with farmland scenes, the industrial and futuristic. The tune was cracking too!
Whether it’s soaps and teleplays, melodrama has played a big role in my life, so it’s no surprise that I wanted to try my hand even if it was spontaneously inspired.
I got that chance when I was working on a commercial, where we were filming at a beautiful stately home.
My best friend and Make-Up Artist/Designer Sammm Agnew were also on the production, and I suggested that once we wrapped, we could take some lovely photos in some nice wardrobe. Between Sammm and I, we have no shortage of props and wardrobe as we almost always come prepared.
Luckily, we wrapped on the commercial early and asked the venue manager whether we could continue using the place and he obliged.
Our runner Grace Rai Lee also stuck around as she’s an aspiring cinematographer.
I suggested that we shoot a melodramatic LGBTQ Indian wedding-style music video and photoshoot.
Sammm did our beautiful makeup and we literally improvised scenes using all of the locations around us. We even did a beautiful bride and groom inspired shoot.
Here’s the wedding invitation I did as a joke and some photos from the shoot.
I edited the film and called music producer Koupzkami and asked whether he had a suitable track that matched the theme to which he did!
You can watch the music video at my latest Newsletter Four here.
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