Jail Belle

It may sound like an episode of Orange is the New Black, but for one week a Colombian jail transformed itself, complete with evening dresses and makeup, to host the Miss Penitentiary Crown.

Captive Beauty, playing at the Phoenix Art Museum for a one-time-only showing this Sunday, chronicles the lives of four contestants, prisoners whose crimes span the likes of murder, kidnapping, con-artistry and revolution. Through personal interviews and pageantry footage, the film tells the story of growing up in Medellin, Colombia, one of the most violent cities on earth, and how this shaped their identities, conception of innocence, relationship to beauty and own femininity.

Clocking in at 72 minutes, the 2011 feature is shown in Spanish with English subtitles.

The film starts at 1 p.m. Sunday, September 29, at the Phoenix Art Museum, 1625 North Central Avenue. Tickets are $7 for members, $10 for non-members. Call 602-257-1222 or visit

Sun., Sept. 29, 1 p.m., 2013
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Janessa is a native Phoenician. She joined New Times as a contributor in 2013. You can connect with her on social media at @janessahilliard, and she promises you'll find no pictures of cats on her Instagram — but plenty of cocktails.
Contact: Janessa Hilliard