Movie Review By: Bryan Fox / Blogger
Transvestites Also Cry,  is not lacking in animo at all. It follows the lives of Romina and Mujerón, two Ecuadorian transvestites working primarily as prostitutes in the Clichy district of Paris over the course of three years. The two protagonists could not be more different in their attitudes, and could hardly be more intriguing, either. Romina is a lithe, effervescent diva who loves the camera, and who is, on the whole, pretty happy with the life she leads: “There are times when I like being a prostitute,” she says candidly, “There are times when you’re stressed out and you need something…sometimes with handsome guys, it just feels good,” she confesses. A supermarket scene shows her cracking jokes at the expense of a bunch of bananas, and she is proud of her current liaisons: “My husband is Portuguese, my boyfriend is French, and my new trophy is Croatian – he has a 10-inch dick,” she boasts.
Mujerón, a hulking, black ex-boxer whose silicone breasts seem almost outlandishly inappropriate on his muscular frame, is more cynical and pragmatic: “I suck, I fuck, I get fucked,” she admits. At the beginning of the film she lives with her sister (also a prostitute) in a hotel that charges 50 euros a day, no small change when tricks are turned in the park for no more than 10 or 15. “My mother is my husband, my lover, my brother,” she tells us. She does what she does to send money back to Ecuador, and for no other reason.
We see the daily struggle the two have to make ends meet and be accepted in a society that denigrates them for various aspects of who they are – prostitutes, circus freaks, and, above all, illegal immigrants. A scene at a pride parade, where young Parisian girls ask Mujerón if they can touch her breasts, and she glumly acquiesces, is poignant, as is a another where she visits a friend in the death throes of cancer and HIV in a dirty hospital room: “She used to be very beautiful, Strawberry was what they called her,” she says, touching the withered semi-conscious form in the bed below her with tenderness.
Transvestites Also Cry is a very genuine, very open confrontation of two people leading lives not many of us would want to lead, and coping with it in very different ways. The pain is real, the emotions are real, and it is horrible to think that there are people for whom the best option available is something worse than most of us could imagine.
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