A fresh idea scores goals in Spanish docu "The Railroad All-Stars" about a gang of Guatemalan hookers who form a soccer team to champion women's rights. Helmed by journalist-cum-scripter Chema Rodriguez ("The Great Match"), subject's verve and innovative premise compensates for many deficiencies. While pic will acquire fans at general fests, transsexual and lesbian components may also reveal berths at gay-themed events.
La Linea is a violent ghetto in Guatemala's capital where sex sells for a couple of bucks at best. Vulnerable to attack and exploited by corrupt police, some prosties hit on the inspired idea of forming a soccer team to publicize the dangers of their work. Frank interviews revealing the circumstances that drove the subjects into the oldest profession are intercut with their training regime. The minor publicity stunt becomes a cause celebre when mothers of their schoolgirl opponents want to have the prosties banned. A subsequent road trip, which sees the All-Stars play other female teams around Guatemala, is fun, but duration far exceeds novelty value. Muddy DV helming is given a considerable lift by amusing sports commentary and a lively Latin soundtrack. Tech credits are strictly shoestring.
Camera (color, DV-to-35mm) Rene Soza; editor, Pablo Blanco; music, Michel Peraza, Vagos y Maleantes, Guerilla Seca, Paulo Alvaredo. Reviewed at Berlin Film Festival (Panorama), Feb. 18, 2006. Spanish, English dialogue. Running time: 94 MIN.