Distributor:  Icarus Films
Length:  35 minutes
Date:  2015
Genre:  Expository
Language:  Spanish / English subtitles
Color/BW:  Color
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Masks

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In the macho world of Cuban culture, Margot and Roxana stand out-they are two of the country's best-known drag queens.

Masks

Margot is a fabulous dresser who belts out tunes, interviews herself on TV, and dispenses safe-sex advice. Roxana is a Russian ex-patriot who is married to a Cuban fisherman and has a penchant for singing Russian songs while wearing opulent gowns.

In the macho world of Cuban culture, Margot Parapar and Roxana Rojo stand out-they are two of the country's best-known drag queens.

In his debut film, MASKS, Cuban filmmaker Lazaro J. Gonzalez Gonzalez takes an anthropological approach to documenting Margot and Roxana. We watch Riubel Alarcon and Pedro Manuel Gonzalez, in their respective cities of Havana and Santa Clara, as they go through the process of transforming themselves for the stage while discussing their personal evolutions, the fight for equality and respect and the trials and dangers that lie ahead.

Both share insights into the art of drag and its connections to the broader struggle for equality.

In an era in which gay Cubans faced active persecution-Riubel sometimes had to leap over fences to get away from the police-drag became acceptable by sharing positive social messages from the stage: telling people to keep safe when it came to STDs, to avoid drug use, and take care of each other.

Today's challenges are more mundane (where's a girl to get decent makeup and false eyelashes in Cuba?) but drag still remains very much an outsider form-one whose roots lie in the gay community but with a distinct identity of its own.

'A new documentary about 'transformismo' in Cuba as an art form and an expression of resistance. - El Toque

'The film's young director is able to show the cultural significance and value of 'transformismo' as an artistic phenomenon involving theater, music, dance and performance.' - Hermanos Saiz Association

Citation

Main credits

González y González, Lázaro (screenwriter)
González y González, Lázaro (film director)

Other credits

Dirreción de fotografía, Alain López; edición, Susanna Ortega.


Distributor credits

A film by Lazaro J. Gonzalez Gonzalez

Docuseek2 subjects

Aging and Geriatrics
Anthropology and Archaeology
Caribbean, The
Cuba
Cultural Anthropology
Gay and Lesbian Studies
AIDS
Human Rights
Sexuality
Gender and Sexuality
Latin American History
Music
Drama and Theater

Distributor subjects

Aging
Anthropology
Caribbean
Cuba
Cultural Anthropology
Gay Studies
Gay Studies
HIV/AIDS
Human Rights
Human Sexuality
Latin America
Lesbian Studies
Music
Theater
The Cuba Media Project

Keywords

cuba; lgbtq; drag; queen; gay; lesbian; transgender; short; latin america; spanish; lazaro gonzalez gonzalez; lazaro j. gonzalez gonzalez; documentary; film; dvd; movie; video; ; ; "Masks"; Icarus Films

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