The Best Female Wrestler You've Never Seen

What Women Really Think
July 15 2009 2:11 PM

The Best Female Wrestler You've Never Seen

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After The Wrestler , Nacho Libre , Rocky , When We Were Kings, and scores of other films about hand to hand combat, you would be forgiven for thinking there’s nothing that could go down in a ring you haven’t seen before. You would be wrong. Check out the awesome trailer for Mamachas Del Ring , a documentary about four indigenous Bolivian women who became national sensations when they began wrestling in their country’s main league, in petticoats and bowler hats, thank you very much.

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Carmen Rosa, one of the wrestlers, is the star of the film, and though her moves are impressive (really, watch some of those flips), her dedication is even more so. After appearing on Peruvian television in 2006, she and her fellow female wrestlers were kicked out of the Bolivian league, despite being fan favorites and obviously, patently amazing. The four Mamachas decide to start their own league and organize their own shows ("We don’t want to be managed by a man, because he exploited us too much. We want to be independent."), committing to running a fledgling business while keeping their day jobs (Rosa works as a street vendor) and taking care of their families. "Sometimes I love wrestling more than my family," Rosa says, which makes her husband’s ultimatum, to choose between wrestling and her family, all the more heart wrenching. Seriously, forget Harry Potter and all the remaining summer blockbusters; this is the only movie I really need to see this season.

Photograph of Carmen Rosa in a 2005 wrestling match by Spencer Platt/Getty Images.

Willa Paskin is Slate’s television critic.

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