There is no one like Rita Moreno. The trailblazing EGOT winner shaped the history of Latinx representation in Hollywood in a career that spans over 70 years. Just a Girl Who Decided to Go For It pays homage to the actress’ most acclaimed characters, from her Oscar-winning role as Anita in West Side Story to Broadway’s iconic Googie Gomez, while also unravelling deeply buried traumas, many rooted in feelings of displacement. 

Despite fully honouring Moreno’s unmatched career, director Mariém Perez Riera never stops questioning how much more the actress could have achieved if not for the many barriers placed in her way due to her identity. From prejudiced casting choices to the over-sexualisation of yet another young Latina, Moreno was put inside a box time and time again, confined to playing roles that not only dismissed her talent but also tarnished her sense of self-worth. 

As the television shows Brett Kavanaugh’s victims bravely taking the stand, Rita unearths her own traumatising experiences of sexual abuse. With her hands shaking and her eyes full, she recounts her troubled relationship with Marlon Brando, her suicide attempt and how therapy – and being allowed the time to navigate deeply rooted identity issues – brought her back to life. How utterly heartbreaking to see a woman so immense be brought down by the pettiness of a man who could not love anyone the way he loved himself. 

There is a poignancy knowing that, as Rita recounted the hardships she faced due to her Latinidad, the crew behind the camera was formed by many other Puerto Ricans who grew up believing what was once impossible was no longer – all thanks to the trailblazing woman in front of them. A legend, an icon, a full-on goddess, Moreno is a force that shows no signs of stopping. Thank heavens the girl decided to go for it. 



CAST: Rita Moreno, Gloria Estefan, Eva Longoria, Lin-Manual Miranda, Morgan Freeman

DIRECTOR: Mariem Pérez Riera

SYNOPSIS: A look at the life and work of Rita Moreno from her humble beginnings in Puerto Rico to her success on Broadway and in Hollywood.