In 1970's NYC, while the Bronx burned, beloved matriarch Lorine Padilla claimed her rightful place as “First Lady”of the legendary gang The Savage Skulls. As wife to one of its founders, her no nonsense attitude and nurturing presence helped to strengthen the surrogate family that so many of their young members longed for. Now, over 40 years later, she looks back at the impact that she has had in the intervening years: as a mother, spiritual advisor, community activist, and keeper of a complex legacy. Celebrating the overlooked female pillars of a male-dominated community, La Madrina: The Savage Life of Lorine Padilla is a love letter to those unsung heroines.
Directed by acclaimed filmmaker/author Raquel Cepeda and Executive Produced by renowned artist/filmmaker Henry Chalfant (Style Wars), this brilliantly entertaining documentary incorporates never-before-seen archival footage of the borough that gifted the world both salsa and hip-hop culture. This history is melded with present day interviews to present a portrait of a larger-than-life personality, struggling to remain visible in the rapidly gentrifying community that she helped to rebuild.
Born in Harlem to Dominican parents, author and filmmaker Raquel Cepeda's work primarily focuses on the American-Latinx experience, one she feels is grossly underrepresented on the screen, behind the lens, and in publishing. She lives in her beloved New York City with her husband and son.