A Shadow Is Haunting the World: International Noir
New Restoration

Goes full throttle … Ninón Sevilla plays Violeta with irresistible verve … The hard-luck plot bursts with the moody poetry of alley views and bridge vistas.”

J. Hoberman, The New York Times

Onstage, Violeta (Ninón Sevilla) is the star of Cabaret Changó. When she dances, her power extends over the nightclub’s audience—drunks, musicians, gangsters, and onlookers—which shifts, from chaos to joy, with every transition she makes between tempos and traditions. Backstage, however, Violeta lives under the thumb of the violent and possessive Rodolfo—as do scores of local sex workers and dancers. When a newborn that Rodolfo claims isn’t his is abandoned, Violeta sacrifices her status and sets into motion a generational tale that mixes melodrama, amped-up noir lighting, and dancefloor storytelling that anticipates the intensified montage of Bob Fosse. Director Emilio Fernández, already a Palme d’Or winner (1944’s María Candelaria), together with cinematographer Gabriel Figueroa, turn the film’s cabaret confines into a dynamic space for sweeping camera moves. As a classic example of the cine de rumberas genre, Victims of Sin is a jolting rediscovery, mixing high-level craft and underworld action.

In Spanish and French with English subtitles

Raw, beautiful, and riveting … Emilio Fernández was a visionary populist filmmaker who took the stuff of pulpy potboilers and created works of surprising depth.”

Bilge Ebiri, Vulture

The cinematography, by the poetic virtuoso Gabriel Figueroa, is classically noir—all smoky, glistening shadows—but the film is in a kind of emotional 3D, flying right at your face and leaving you stunned.”

Imogen Sara Smith, The Criterion Collection

Upcoming in this Series

  • Le Samourai 5
  • Le samouraï
  • France/Italy1967
  • Jean-Pierre Melville
  • 105 DCP
  • PG
  • International Noir
  • Third Man 1
  • The Third Man
  • United Kingdom1949
  • Carol Reed
  • 104 DCP
  • G
  • International Noir
  • My Heart Is That Eternal Rose 1
  • My Heart Is That Eternal Rose
  • 殺手蝴蝶夢
  • Hong Kong1989
  • Patrick Tam
  • 90 DCP
  • 18A
  • International Noir
  • Victims Of Sin 2
  • Victims of Sin
  • Víctimas del Pecado
  • Mexico1951
  • Emilio Fernández
  • 84 DCP
  • PG
  • International Noir
  • Neige 3
  • Neige
  • France1981
  • Juliet Berto, Jean-Henri Roger
  • 90 DCP
  • NR
  • International Noir