The Quispe Girls

The Quispe Girls (Spanish: Las niñas Quispe) is a 2013 Chilean film written and directed by Sebastián Sepúlveda. It is based on the true story of the Quispe sisters and on Juan Radrigán's play "Las Brutas".[2]

The Quispe Girls
Las niñas Quispe film poster.jpg
Film poster
SpanishLas niñas Quispe
Directed bySebastian Sepulveda
Written bySebastian Sepulveda
Based onLas Brutas
by Juan Radrigan
Produced byJuan de Dios Larrain
StarringDigna Quispe, Catalina Saavedra, Francisca Gavilán, Alfredo Castro, Segundo Araya
CinematographyInti Briones
Edited bySantiago Otheguy
Distributed byFábula, Swipe Films
Release date
Running time
83 minutes


The film is based on the story of sisters Justa, Lucía and Luciana Quispe, three goat-herders from the Chilean altiplano in the Atacama desert and Region, the home of the indigenous Colla people.

In 1974, the altiplano (highlands) goat-herders were concerned their animals were losing economic value as rumours about the military government expanded and reached the more isolated corners of the country.

Affected by the recent loss of another of their sisters, and frightened by the news that the military had reached the area of Copiapo, Justa, Lucía and Luciana committed suicide by hanging themselves from a rock (along with their two dogs).

The film's suicide scene was performed on the same rock where the real incident occurred, and the role of Justa Quispe was played by her niece, Digna Quispe. Movie director and screenwriter Sebastián Sepúlveda says about his first encounter with Digna Quispe: "I was very afraid of Digna when I first met her. She don't shake hands, she "shake" just the fingers, and in a very cold way", later she would accept a part in the project. Digna's harsh personality was considered a reflection of her life in the Altiplano, and her personality as such, left a mark on the film.[3]




  • The film had a positive reception, though some criticized the awkwardness of integrating the inexperienced Digna Quispe with the rest of the crew. Digna, though brilliant, was illiterate and had no acting experience, with one reviewer saying her performance did not blend with those of Francisca Gavilán and Catalina Saavedra, the other two main characters.[4]
  • The Hollywood Reporter also gave a positive review, saying: "Sebastian Sepulveda's beautifully written, played and shot feature debut is as dark, pure and bleak as the lives of its subjects."[5]


  1. ^ "Venice Film Review: 'The Quispe Girls'". 31 August 2013. Retrieved 13 May 2020.
  2. ^ "Las brutas - Out of the Wings".
  3. ^ "A Digna yo le tenía mucho miedo cuando la conocí. Ella no da la mano, sino que da los dedos, y de una forma muy fría", Sebastián Sepúlveda, al recordar sus primeros encuentros con la sobrina de las Quispe, quien luego aceptó interpretar a su tía Justa. Digna se sumó así al equipo que integraban Catalina Saavedra y Francisca Gavilán en los roles de Lucía y Luciana, respectivamente., Francisca González Castillo, September 9, 2014, retrieved on October 29, 2014
  4. ^ Las niñas Quispe (ES) "Lo que complica la verosimilitud del trabajo de estas tremendas actrices es que la tercera hermana está interpretada por Digna Quispe, heredera de las míticas hermanas y una persona que en toda su corporalidad y expresión da cuenta de la relación que existe desde su origen con el mundo que la rodea y la define".CRÍTICAS & ESTUDIOS "Las niñas Quispe: el drama sin dolor" Cinechile, Enciclopedia del Cine Chileno / Santiago, Chile, Antonella Estevez, retrieved on October 28, 2014
  5. ^ The Hollywood reporter critic The hollywood reporter, Agoust 31, 2013 by Jonathan Holland

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