Two young Mexican sisters live a terrible ordeal as illegal immigrants in the United States. After the rape and murder of her younger sister by a pair of BP agents, the other girl seeks justice; in the end, she is forced to take it in her own hands.
Las braceras was shot in Brownsville, Texas, in the summer of 1980. Shooting was finished by August 8, and cast and crew prepared to travel back to Mexico. A hurricane warning was in effect, and almost everybody hurried to leave. A few people chose to stay; among them, one of the stars: Maritza Olivares. The actress was enjoying herself until the first winds and rain from hurricane Allen began to hit the area. Maritza went into hysterics, but had to remain in Brownsville until the storm dissipated, not without making a big fuss.
Producciones Agrasánchez had been making movies in the Rio Grande Valley for five years. Las braceras was its second drama dealing with illegal immigration. The story is based on the actual vicissitudes most of the “mojados” had –and still have- to endure. In this case, the plot focuses on the abuses against defenseless women.
Fernando Durán Rojas, who had reached international recognition for his western films, directed Las braceras. His experience and vision is reflected in the effective action and violence scenes.
The producers counted on the valuable support of the Brownsville community, as well as the local and migration authorities. Permission was granted even to shoot a pair of scenes in the international crossing point between the two countries.
As in all Agrasánchez productions, the cast smartly blends leading actors from the Golden Age of Mexican cinema with rising stars. In this case, noted actors Eduardo Noriega, Carmelita González, and César del Campo joined young Maritza Olivares, Patricia Rivera, and Roberto Montiel. Other great actors like Noé Murayama and Quintín Bulnes contributed with their dramatic skills as the villains in the story.
Music and dance were mandatory in all the Agrasánchez’s films. In Las braceras, Gustavo Pimentel was in charge of music direction, while Lyn May, the queen of vedettes on the Mexican stage in those days, performed some of her strip dance numbers. She also played an important role in the story.
Though Las braceras is a fictional film, it depicts the situation of illegal immigrants in a realistic and gripping manner.