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Who The Hell Is Juliette?

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Who The Hell Is Juliette?

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With contemporary attack-dog journalists like Michael Moore (The Big One, Roger & Me) and Nick Broomfield (Heidi Fleiss: Hollywood Madam, Kurt And Courtney) brazenly scrapping the "rules" of the documentary, Who The Hell Is Juliette? goes one step further: It may be the first faux-faux documentary. Its real-life subjects—Yuliet Ortega, a flamboyant 16-year-old Havana prostitute, and Fabiola Quíroz, an older and more privileged Mexican model—are at the mercy of director Carlos Marcovich's freewheeling technique, which never distinguishes between what is captured and what is staged. Either way, he gets some kind of truth. Marcovich, a cinematographer by trade, met Ortega and Quíroz on location in Cuba, where they were hired to star in a video for Latin pop star Benny. Both are surviving without a father—Ortega's abandoned her family to live in America, Quíroz's left before she was born—but otherwise, the parallels connecting them are tenuous at best. The film is most effective when attempting to answer the title question: The flirty, infectious Ortega loves the camera and is always ready to confess everything in front of it; the effervescent force of her personality effectively swats away all hardships and tragedy. But with his annoyingly self-conscious devices and shimmering travelogue images of Cuba, Marcovich is ultimately more interested in himself than anyone on the screen.