Said by Obama to be the embodiment of the American Dream, this profile piece chronicles the storied career of Hollywood legend Rita Moreno. Against the backdrop of a racist and sexist movie industry, the multi-talented Puerto Rican actress challenged stifling stereotypes, going on to become a role model for women and Latinx people in the industry. From bucking the 'spicy Latina’ trope in the 50’s to protesting with Martin Luther King, Jr to championing women’s rights in the #metoo era, Rita Moreno has consistently used her platform to stand for what’s right. Interviews with Morgan Freeman, Eva Longoria, Gloria Estefan, Whoopi Goldberg and others are combined with rich archival footage of everything from West Side Story to The Electric Company to create a fascinating portrait of this iconic actress.
In this dynamic biopic, Director Mariem Pérez Riera lets the feisty 87 year old tell her own story, delighting the audience with anecdotes, wisdom and a smidge of kiss-and-tell from her illustrious seven decade career. Told with refreshing candor, this documentary is at once enlightening, emotionally impactful and entertaining. Executive produced by Norman Lear and Lin Manuel Miranda, Rita Moreno: Just a Girl Who Decided to Go For It gives the indomitable trailblazer her due. —Karen McMullen
Mariem Pérez Riera’s first documentary, Cuando lo pequeño se hace grande, was recognized at various international film festivals. Her other producing and directing credits include De Puerto Rico Para El Mundo, Diez En La Música, and Emmy® Award-winner Croatto, La Huella De Un Emigrante. She is the founder of Maramara Films.