Mamachas del Ring

Mamachas del Ring

By Betty M Park


Set in the heights of the Bolivian Andes, Mamachas del Ring is the story of Carmen Rosa the Champion, a cholita and wrestler who struggles to make it on her own in the male-dominated world of Bolivian professional wrestling.

In 2004, Carmen Rosa was at the forefront of a cholita wrestler revolution. Never before had Bolivia seen an indigenous woman take her petticoats and bowler hat into the ring, and the crowds couldn't get enough. Along with three other cholitas, Carmen became an international star, and all four were anointed the Mamachas of the Ring.

The film begins in 2006, shortly after their return from a star-making turn on Peruvian TV—but their rapid success has come at a price. Jealousy and envy begin to ripple throughout the wrestling community, and eventually they are black-listed from performing in Bolivia's main wrestling league by its notoriously egotistical league commissioner, Don Juan Mamani.

Betrayed but not discouraged, the Mamachas take matters into their own hands. They pound the pavement organizing their own shows, contracting media appearances, and traveling for days to perform across Bolivia, often to paltry crowds who can barely afford to pay the entrance fee. They were the first indigenous women to wrestle; they were the revolutionary stars. Now they are the first women wrestlers to manage their own business and contracts, desperately hoping to regain their crowns.

The pressures of daily living and gendered responsibilities begin to eat away at the foundation of the Mamachas, and Carmen Rosa increasingly shoulders more of the work burden. Her day job as a street vendor begins to suffer and her attention to her family dwindles, until one day her husband issues her a firm ultimatum: wrestling or your family.

United States, Bolivia 75 minutes 2009 Spanish
  • Arizona International Film Festival 2010 (Tucson, United States)
  • Cinema Novo 2010 (Bruges, Belgium)
  • Festival Internacional del Nuevo Cine Latinoamericano 2010 (Havana, Cuba)
  • Los Angeles Asian-Pacific Film Festival 2010 (Los Angeles, United States)
  • New York Latino International Film Festival 2010 (New York, United States)
  • Salem Film Festival 2010 (Mass., USA)
  • Slamdance Film Festival 2010 (Park City, United States)
  • Buenos Aires International Festival of Independent Cinema 2009 (Buenos Aires, Argentina)
  • Margaret Mead Film & Video Festival 2009 (New York City, United States)
  • Montreal World Film Festival 2009 (Montreal, Canada)

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