Miriam Lies

(Miriam miente)
Natalia Cabral, Oriol Estrada | Drama, Fiction

2018 | 90 minutes | Spain, Dominican Republic

A quinceañera celebration exposes how racial prejudices affect a teenage girl’s choices, while shooting sharp criticism at the heart and mind of Caribbean society.


The first dramatic feature by documentary duo Natalia Cabral and Oriol Estrada centers on a quinceañera celebration and shows how racial prejudices affect a teenage girl’s choices.

"Miriam Lies is the latest in an exciting and refreshing new wave of cinema from the Dominican Republic. For sensitive teen Miriam (Dulce Rodriguez), life really shouldn't be much more than sunny afternoons spent with best friend Jennifer, talking about boys and making preparations for their upcoming shared quinceanera, an event celebrated mainly by upper-middle-class society in Santo Domingo. The product of a short, troubled mixed-race marriage, the shy teen is often made to feel like an outcast within her own working-class family for being darker than the rest, leading her to find comfort in an online relationship with sympathetic suitor, and potential quinceanera date, Jean-Louis.

When Jean-Louis reveals himself to be black, Miriam feels the weight of a badly broken society bear down on her young shoulders, driving her to create a web of tall tales, excuses, and deepening cover-ups. With a cast that delivers some incredibly natural performances, this powerful debut feature from co-writer/directors Natalia Cabral and Oriol Estrada shoots sharp criticism at the heart and mind of Caribbean society with a treatment as subtle as it is demolishing." — Hebe Tabachnik, Seattle International Film Festival

* Spanish language audio description is available via the ALL4ACCESS App and/or .wav file when purchasing a DSL license.

Accessibility for these films was created by DICAPTA and funded under a grant from the U.S. Department of Education- Office of Special Education-OSEP, project “Enhanced Access to Video for Students with Sensory Disabilities through Emerging Technology,” TV Access H327C210001.


"An outstanding drama and an intimate exploration of the complex inner world of a bi-racial teenager. Miriam Lies is highly recommended for coming-of-age film collections in public libraries." — J. Zimmerman, Video Librarian

"This film is a breakout from previous representations of race and coming of age in the Dominican Republic and would be an exceptional addition to Latin American and Caribbean film collections. It is appropriate for a range of audiences from film or cultural studies specialists analyzing representations of race and gender, to undergraduate and/or high school students studying film, and Spanish language. In its accessibility and intimacy, it invites audiences into Miriam's Dominican world of race, Internet relationships, racism, micro-aggression, societal rules, and true friendship between young women." — Michelle Leigh Farrell, Fairfield University

"A hidden gem." — Sophie Willard, British Film Institute

"Cabral and Estrada's screenplay unpacks these tricky personal politics with an assuredly light touch, never forcing their flawed, finely drawn characters into overt rhetoric." — Guy Lodge, Variety

"The directorial duo simultaneously builds a captivating portrait of a certain culture, an intimate chronicle of adolescence and a fierce criticism of class society, all in a documentary style, enhanced by a cast (young and adult, professional and amateur) that delivers some incredibly natural performances." — Alfonso Rivera, Cineuropa

"An intimate portrait of an introverted young woman carrying a heavy emotional burden." —Jamie Dunn, Sight & Sound

"There is something about this girl's story that will linger with you longer than you'd expect. Perhaps it's as simple as the fact that what seems like a teenager's silly lie turns out to be more of a stinging indictment of the world at large than it should be." —Gregory Ellwood The Playlist

"A thoughtful examination of a difficult subject and deserving of attention." —Jennie Kermode, Eye for Film

"By the end of this soft caress of a character study, one sense we've been scrutinizing Miriam's face more carefully, and caringly, than anyone else has done in some time." —Guy Lodge, Variety

Main credits

Cabral, Natalia (film director)
Cabral, Natalia (film producer)
Cabral, Natalia (screenwriter)
Estrada, Oriol (film director)
Estrada, Oriol (film producer)
Estrada, Oriol (screenwriter)
Rodríguez, Dulce (actor)
Rohana, Carolina (actor)
Méndez, Pachy (actor)

Other credits

Director of photography, Israel Cárdenas; editing, Oriol Estrada, Aina Calleja, Natalia Cabral.

Santo Domingo, mixed-race, teenager, quinceañera, coming of age, spanish, spanish language, latin america, latin american cinema, latin american film, ibero america, latin, latinx, latino, latina,,afro latin america, black latin america, afro latino, afro latinx, afro latina, black latino, black latinx, black latina, afro latin, afro-americanism, afro-brazilian, afro-cuban, afro-haitian, afro-colombian, afro-dominican, afro-mexican, afro-puertorican, afro-honduran, afro-bolivian, afro-argentinian, afro-chilean, afro-peruvian, afro-nicauraguan, afro-guatemalan,afro-caribbean, diaspora, slave trade,latin american studies, caribbean american studies, island studies, latin american culture, latin american history, latin american politics, caribbean american culture, caribbean american history, caribbean american politics, latin american languages, latin american and caribbean studies, hispanic american studies, hispanic people, hispanic culture, hispanic politics,racism, discrimination, prejudice, ethnicity, ethnic, race studies, ethnic studies, racist, racial sensitivity, bias, prejudice, racial prejudice, ethnic prejudice, genetics, hereditary, culture, ethnic culture, ethnology, ethnography, ethnic sensitivity,culture, identity, identity politics, culture wars, left wing, right wing, intersectionality, identity groups, civilization, literacy, humanism, cancel culture, online culture, cultural revolution, cultural diffusion, culture shock, popular culture, pop culture, material culture, cultural capital, cultural assimilation ,child, children, childhood, kid, girl, girlhood, boy, boyhood, teen, teenager, puberty, adolescence, adolescent, coming-of-age, minor, kiddo, kids, juvenile, stripling, moppet, tyke, tween, tot, toddler, sonny, girlie, underaged, dependent, youngster, infancy, babyhood, girlhood, boyhood, friendships, juvenescence, juvenility, springtime, early life,women, womanhood, gender, girl, girlhood, mother, motherhood, female, cis woman, cis female, trans woman, trans female, women’s rights, women’s issues, lady, ladies, gentlewoman, madame, miss, missus, mrs., dame, damsel, ingenue, lass, maid, maiden, belle, gal, ladyfriend, girlfriend, dear, darling, widow, matron, dowager, gender, gender equality, gender pay gap, women’s liberation, women’s rights,sociology, anthropology, psychology, sociological, sociological perspectives, conflict theory, human conflicts, sociological thinking,conflict perspective, topics in sociology, sociology topics, sociology studies, social studies, people and cultures, human relations, human relationships, cultural studies, culture studies ,family, kin, fellowship, household, immediate family, extended family, multigenerational family, multigenerational household, kinfolk, family tree, genealogy, nuclear family, modern family, family tree,body image, appearance, body dissatisfaction, eating disorders, body acceptance, acceptance, body dysmorphic disorder, body dysmorphia, negative body image, distorted body image, confidence, self-esteem, self acceptance, fat acceptance, body acceptance, positive body image, negative body image, weight, fat, overweight, obesity; "Miriam Lies"; Pragda Films
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Cinélatino Rencontres de Toulouse - French Critics' Discovery Award
Huelva International Film Festival - Golden Colón Award to Best Film
Karlovy Vary International Film Festival - Award of Ecumenical Jury - Special Mention
Gijón International Film Festival - Best Script
Sydney Latin American Film Festival - Best Film
Havana Film Festival - Sara Gómez Award

DIRECTOR: Natalia Cabral, Oriol Estrada

NATIONALITY: Spain, Dominican Republic

YEAR: 2018

GENRE: Drama, Fiction


COLOR / B&W: Color

GRADE LEVEL: High School, College, Adults



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