Corpus

Lourdes Portillo's documentary presents—rather than examines—pop culture phenomenon Selena Quintanilla, whose pretty voice and sparkling stage presence gave expression, as one observer remarks, to dark-skinned Chicano sexuality. Mindful of Selena's family (her father and sister are quoted extensively), Portillo ignores the commercial forces that created a nymphet in tight jeans and stiletto heels, though she does include enough concert footage and music-video clips to illustrate Selena's startling transformation. Portillo, a feminist chronicler of Latino subjects, heaps the blame for Selena's death on the spurned friend and fan club president who shot her, but the film never explains why the recently married singer left the protective shelter of her family so abruptly. Author Sandra Cisneros, the only dissenting voice in a chorus of hurrahs, is refreshingly frank in dismissing the Selena myth.

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