“Your time is worth half of a man’s” the protagonist of “Women Is Losers” is told in in a new trailer for the film. That, of course, is outrageous, but it’s also the reality women of color like Celina Guerrera (Lorenza Izzo, “Hacks”) have to contend with in 1970s America. Writer-director Lissette Feliciano’s feature directorial debut follows Celina as she pursues her dream of owning a home, and the many obstacles she encounters on her journey.
One of those is an unexpected pregnancy. Celina’s best friend (Chrissie Fit, “Pitch Perfect” franchise) promises, “We’re not gonna let this ruin our life,” but it does throw a wrench into their plans. Celina faces the judgment of her Catholic school teachers and peers, and has to work multiple jobs to make ends meet. And she’s not getting much support from loved ones: her child’s father (Bryan Craig, “Grand Hotel”) is a Vietnam vet struggling with addiction and PTSD, and Celina’s own father (Steven Bauer, “Breaking Bad”) is abusive. She and her mother (Alejandra Miranda, “La Reina del Sur”) live in fear of him.
When we spoke to Feliciano about “Women Is Losers,” she described the film as a “conversation with my mother.” She explained, “I wanted to make a film where the hidden wounds, the unsaid truths of our parents’ generation were brought out into the light to help our own. I wanted to make a film where our mothers, grandmothers, aunts, uncles, fathers talk to us about everything, and I mean everything, they swept under the rug. I was drawn to make a film that says the unwritten rules of our world out loud in a way that gives you space to laugh at them and learn from them at the same time.”
“Women Is Losers” premiered earlier this year at SXSW. It picked up awards at Cleveland International Film Festival, Cordillera International Film Festival, Oxford Film Festival, and Sonoma International Film Festival. Liza Weil (“Gilmore Girls”) and Simu Liu (“Shang-Chi”) also star.
“Women Is Losers” will stream on HBO Max beginning October 18.