Winner of the Teddy Award for Best Documentary at the 2018 Berlin International Film Festival, Bixa Travesty dazzlingly showcases the life and political artistry of Linn da Quebrada, an electrifying performer from the outskirts of São Paulo, whose daring and powerful performance style matches her social message of resistance and inclusion.
A black transwoman (who refers to herself as a bixa travesty—“tranny fag”—by way of reclaiming those words), da Quebrada uses singing, rap, dance, spoken word, and other media to give a voice to queer people of color from Brazil’s favelas. Accompanied by her childhood friend and performance collaborator, singer Jup do Bairro, who is also trans, she creates provocative, high-energy performance pieces that celebrate and explore gender and sexuality while confronting the oppressive machismo of the country’s music scene.
Interspersed with performance footage are private moments—though with a protagonist so innately theatrical, the line between performance and documentary is intentionally, often hilariously, blurred. Whether she is cooking with her mother or showering with friends, the conversation frequently turns to love, racism, poverty, and the challenges and triumphs she has faced.
Linn da Quebrada is a powerful voice, both as a performer and as an activist. As she explains in the documentary, she was unable to find a place where she belonged, so she created that place. But, she says, she won’t be there forever—she is forever exploring, forever in flux.
— CHARLES PURDY
- Language: In Portuguese with English subtitles. ASL interpreter present
- Premiere Status: North America