Episode 10: Patricia Riggen

In this episode, Rosa and Cat highlight the groundbreaking Mexican director, Patricia Riggen. In January 2019, the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative released a report analyzing the gender, race and age of directors across 1,200 top films from 2007 to 2018. Out of 1,200 films, only one film was directed by a Latina director, Patricia Riggen.

We examine three of her films:

“Under the Same Moon” (“La Misma Luna”) (2007)

Single mother Rosario (Kate del Castillo) leaves her young son Carlitos (Adrian Alonso) in the care of his grandmother and illegally crosses the border into the U.S. She hopes to eventually make a better life for herself and her son but toils in a dead-end job as a cleaning lady in Los Angeles. When Carlitos’ grandmother passes away some years later, he begins a difficult and dangerous journey to join her.

“Girl in Progress” (2012)

Grace (Eva Mendes) is a single mom who is often too busy juggling her job, bills and two love interests (Matthew Modine, Eugenio Derbez) to pay much attention to her daughter, Ansiedad (Cierra Ramirez). Inspired by the coming-of-age stories her English teacher (Patricia Arquette) introduces in class, Ansiedad decides to skip adolescence and jump-start her life without her mother. But, when the misguided plan unravels, Ansiedad and Grace must both learn that growing up means acting your age.

“The 33” (2015)

Disaster strikes on Aug. 5, 2010, as a copper and gold mine collapses in Chile, trapping 33 men underground. With more than 2,000 feet of rock in their way, members of a rescue team work tirelessly for 69 days to save the seemingly doomed crew. Beneath the rubble, the miners begin an epic quest to survive, contending with suffocating heat and the need for food and water. With family, friends and the rest of the world watching, it becomes a race against time and a true test of the human spirit.


“Black God, White Devil” (1964) During yet another drought-blighted year in the sertão, the arid hinterland of the north-east Brazil, ranch hand Manoel kills his boss after a dispute over money. Manoel and his wife Rosa flee, but instead of finding freedom and happiness, or at least expiation, the pair fall prey in succession to the whims of a black preacher who operates far outside the orbit of the Catholic Church. Written and directed by Glauber Rocha