Cinéma du Réel - International documentary film festival
Casa Roshell
DR

Casa Roshell

Camila José Donoso

2016 / Chile, Mexico / 71 min

i Tuesday 28 March 16H00 Cinéma 2
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Original Version Subtitled in French and English + DEBATE

Shown with :
Duelo by Alejandro Alonso
i Wednesday 29 March 21H00 Luminor
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Original Version Subtitled in French and English + DEBATE

Shown with :
Duelo by Alejandro Alonso
i Thursday 30 March 14H00 Centre Wallonie Bruxelles
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Original Version Subtitled in French and English

Shown with :
Duelo by Alejandro Alonso

Roshell and Lili, both well into their forties, run a small transformist club in Mexico City, where men of all ages and backgrounds come to watch, cruise or learn how to dress in drag. With dialogues based on lengthy audio recordings and the filmmaker’s sustained relationship with the transgendered people at this tiny cabaret, the film eschews the sensational angle. Instead, it settles in the corner of a changing room at the most ordinary moments of costume changes or making-up, or it renders the anxious wait of a girl on the staff who is clearly infatuated with one of the regulars. Lili even runs a therapy-based personality workshop. Knowing how to walk on stiletto heels or “make an X with our T-shaped male body” means knowing how to reinvent oneself and perhaps, one day, fully assume this identity. The form of the film goes along with the feeling that here seduction has the right to remain light-hearted (“Shall we go to the dark room? – I don’t think so, darling...”) and that categories are of little importance (“You aren’t gay,” one customer is told, “we’re another type of woman…”). The fluid approach of Camila José Donoso is one of a frictionalized reality and utterly faithful to what Lili, in front of her apprentice-transvestites, calls the “eighth commandment”: “thou shall not put on a fake voice.” Viewing this milieu calmly and obviously enjoying conveying that it has recently been legalised, the filmmaker has found the right tone, never contrived. (Charlotte Garson)

Production: Tonalá Lab, INTERIOR XIII

Print source: Tonalá Lab

Camila José Donoso was born in Chile. After studying cinema, she wrote and directed short films and video performances. Her first feature, Naomi Campbell, co-directed with Nicolás Videla, was shown in many festivals and art centers. Casa Roshell is her second feature. She is currently working on new projects including Nona, her third film, which she started in 2013.