- Director: Theodore Collatos; Carolina Monnerat
So...here's an angle that no-one seems to have picked up upon...
Let's address the blaring argument that has continued to resonate for quite some time...trans*actors for trans*roles. Well, it doesn't take a genius to take this a little further, by mere extrapolation...why not trans*lives documented by trans*people?
Not here...these trans*lives have been documented by a heterosexual, married couple. And, by further extrapolation...it follows, this is a heterocentric perspective on a world they [the filmmakers] have absolutely no familiarity with. The result is far from the bigger picture!
Queen of Lapa should have been a mighty fine document...subjects like Luana Muniz don't pop up too often. Alas, Luana does not feature as much as she should have...instead, the filmmakers embrace the cinéma vérité and dole out scene-after-scene of domestic nothingness. Squabbles, tantrums, hair-washing, hair-brushing...where's Luana?!?
And, as de riguer as it is when filming sex-workers, the obligatory lurid stories of Johns, their kinks and aggressions...it's just very unsurprising when it shouldn't have been. Luana Muniz created surprises...she was a surprise...and, a prize for the trans*community in Lapa. Her life, her story ought to have been told in detail and celebrated without reserve.
Sadly, she died soon after filming completed...RIP Luana...your life made a difference.
A proud transgender sex worker since the age of eleven, Luana Muniz, now fifty-nine, shapes a new reality in her 'hostel' by housing a new generation of transgender sex workers in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Queen of Lapa explores their day-to-day lives, rivalries, and quests for love, as Muniz's guides them in a city full of hostility towards its LGBTQ community.