La Muñeca Fea captures incredible women ranging from ages sixty to ninety-five who live in Casa Xochiquetzal, whose wrinkles, scars and deep-feeling eyes tell stories of pain, suffering and occasional joy. The intimacy that the filmmakers share with these women is evidenced by the shooting style – close-ups and extreme close-ups that allows the viewer to get near women who have built a lifetime of walls around them.
As the film begins, we meet our heroine, a former prostitute in her fifties, Carmen, who created Casa Xochiquetzal as haven for her elderly colleagues, mentors and friends. Soon, she discloses that she has a terminal illness and we are left to wonder how Casa Xochiquetzal will continue without her. A few months later, however, Carmen is suddenly accused of dishonesty, corruption, and misconduct, and she is removed from the house.