19 October 2012

The Bella Vista / El bella vista (Alicia Cano, Uruguay, 2012)

This relatively short feature documentary sounded quite promising. It's the story of an old soccer clubhouse which has become a transvestite brothel, according to some of the film's subjects. Nevermind that it seems to be more of a bar than anything else. It's about this sort of tranny bar in this small town in Uruguay. Everything seems to be going fine until a small group of geriatric men who used to play soccer together decide they want to run the faggots out of town. They eventually do this under false pretenses, more or less, and the building eventually becomes a Catholic church. The film is far too concerned with the mundane lives of the idiots who persecute the transsexuals as opposed to the transsexuals themselves, in my opinion and the film is also too sympathetic to them. I mean, it's an interesting film and I understand that we're dealing with a certain sense of the past being eroded by the modern world, but the dominant culture shouldn't have its apologies made for it as it forces people who are different into a dangerous demimonde. It's nice how this film considers change, and it does in a shot of one of the transsexual walking a menacing street indicate that they're essentially beneath the wheel, to borrow a metaphor from Hermann Hesse, but I guess as I was watching the film I was irritated by the smugness of the male characters. It doesn't seem like anybody learned anything in this movie, which I guess is what makes it authentic. Even as things change, they stay the same. As you can see, I have mixed emotions on this one.

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