Fresh from her Berlin Best Actress win in Gloria, in which Australian audiences recently fell in love with her, Paulina García takes on another complex role in Ximena, a middle-aged woman who is in denial about her illiteracy. Living alone in a shabby apartment, and undertaking an eccentric form of gardening, the chain-smoking Ximena has managed to live her life up to this point not being able to read, an inability that she is both ashamed and in denial of.
When the woman who usually reads the newspaper for her is sent to hospital, Ximena is surprised by a visit from the woman’s daughter Jackeline (Valentina Muhr), who offers to carry on the task. But being a school teacher, Jackeline wants to go further and help the extremely reluctant and distractible Ximena to learn how to read, a task that proves challenging in the best sense of the word.
Hollywood Reporter has described The Illiterate as “magnificently performed” by the same stage actresses as were used in the play from which the film was adapted. This is an emotional but ultimately uplifting story of empowerment that proves it is never too late.