Víctimas del pecado (Victims of Sin). 1950. Mexico. Directed by Emilio Fernández. Screenplay by Emilio Fernández, Mauricio Magdaleno. Cinematography by Gabriel Figueroa. Music by Perez Prado, Pedro Vargas. With Ninón Sevilla, Rodolfo Acosta, Tito Junco. DCP. In Spanish; English subtitles. 85 min.
Moving away from rural subjects, Fernández embraced the emerging genre of rumberas films—cabaret melodramas centered on Afro-Caribbean music—fashioning this showcase for its greatest star, the incandescent Ninón Sevilla. Giving up her career as the lead dancer at the Cabaret Changoo, Sevilla’s character, another monumentally self-sacrificing Fernández heroine, takes to streetwalking to support the abandoned baby she rescued from a garbage bin. With Rodolfo Acosta as an aggressively zoot-suited gangster, music by Perez Prado and Pedro Vargas, and plenty of smoky interiors magnificently lit by Figueroa.