This award-winning documentary from Mexican cinematographer Carlos Marcovich marked his debut as a director. While filming a video in Cuba starring model Fabiola Quiroz, Marcovich met and was struck by the brashness of a 16-year-old Havana jinetera (child prostitute) named Juliet Ortega whom Fabiola had befriended. Electing to direct a documentary about the girl, Marcovich embarked on a three-year odyssey of following the barrio dwelling orphan, contrasting her life with that of the glamorous Fabiola, who is at the opposite end of the class and economic spectrum. As Juliet's world is revealed, however, it develops that both she and Fabiola were abandoned by their fathers as children, and both have been deeply wounded by the experience. Marcovich then arranges a reunion with Juliet's father, an emgire now living in New Jersey, about whom Juliet has not been told the truth. Ultimately, Fabiola arranges for the beautiful Juliet to get a modeling interview in an effort to rescue her friend from the slums and streetwalking. Actress Salma Hayek, a heroine of Juliet's, appears in the film as herself.
by Karl Williams synopsis