USA/PHILIPPINES I 2019 I COLOR I 95 MIN. I ENGLISH, TAGALO
World Premiered at the Venice International Film Festival, the third film by Filipino film director Isabel Sandoval is a sensual portrait of the romantic relationship between Olga (played by Sandoval herself), a trans undocumented Filipino woman in New York, and Alex, a young Russian-Jew who does not know the gender status of his beloved. Through powerful photography and a pace that gains intensity in harmony with the characters´ emotional journeys, the film has as its backdrop the rarefied political environment of the Trump administration, and the permanent threat of deportation. The film offers an exploration of profound concepts such as desire and identity, in an era where love relationships can also be interpreted as political decisions. A shocking film made up of a courageous cast from minority communities.
Review by: Abel Cervantes
Isabel Sandoval | Filipinas
Isabel Sandoval was born in the Philippines and studied at the Stern School of Business at New York University. Established in New York, Sandoval premiered Señorita (2011), her first feature film, at the Locarno Film Festival. Her second film, Aparición (2012), is a period drama about Filipino nuns cloistered during the Marcos regime. In 2019 she presented Lingua Franca at the Venice Film Festival, becoming the first transgender woman to be part of the official competition.