Rosa Peral’s Tapes (2023) 2023 / A rousing documentary that gives much-needed context to a misconstrued case


As sexy and intriguing as Rosa Peral’s case sounds, this documentary suggests that it’s just another instance of the public’s wild if harmful imagination. Both the media and prosecutors made Peral out to be a promiscuous woman out for blood, with tabloids calling her a “go-go dancer” and a “stripper,” despite being neither, and public officials recalling her sexual activities in court, despite their irrelevance to the case. Via a phone call from prison, Peral debunks these claims and tries her best to reclaim the narrative. It’s the first interview she’s given since being convicted for 25 years in 2020, and in a finely balanced move, the filmmakers contrast her impassioned testimony with interviews they’ve conducted with Peral’s critics and prosecutors, thus giving us enough to deliberate among the two sides. If the documentary ever seems biased towards Peral, it’s clear that it’s only to offset the weirdly strong vitriol she’s received among the Spanish public. 

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