Dirty Laundry is an experimental narrative that weaves together fictional footage, home movies, and images from real-world telenovelas to tell the story of Sandra, a young girl caught on the border between her family's Mexican traditions, and her devious, American instincts.
Dirty Laundry is set literally on the US/Mexico border, in the largest border town in the world: El Paso, Texas. In El Paso, the traditions of Mexico and America coincide, combine, and clash, like nowhere else. Twelve year old Sandra Martinez finds herself in the center of this culture clash when she is forced to participate in her cousin's quinceñera (a Mexican debutante party with a Catholic mass). Sandra's not afraid of the dresses, the big hair, or even the customary monster trucks. But Sandra is afraid of the mandatory trip to the confession booth. There's no way she'll confess her newest secret: that she discovered masturbation one afternoon while sitting on a rocking washing machine.
Sandra scandalizes her Catholic family as she runs out of the confessional booth proclaiming she will not confess. But without Sandra, the quinceñera can't go on. Will Sandra confess, or will she stay faithful to her dirty laundry?
Dirty Laundry is a humorous look at border culture, Catholicism, puberty, and the hidden pleasures of the spin cycle.
-Best Short Fiction at CineFestival, San Antonio, TX 2001
-IFP's Buzz Cuts, 2001
-Latino Lens, WNET, 2001
-Through the Lens, WYBE, 2001
-Jury Award, ImageNation, NYC 2001
-Finalist, MOXIE! Film Festival in Santa Monica, CA 2001