HRFF 2020: Our Review of ‘Indianara’

Posted in Human Rights Film Festival, What's Streaming? by - December 05, 2020
HRFF 2020: Our Review of ‘Indianara’

Indianara‘s main subject, Indianara Siqeira, has a busy life. This includes marching in non-corporate Pride marches. There, she vocalizes her support for both sex workers and LGBT+ people in her country, Brazil. The documentary filmmakers shot this footage right after the coup against Dilma Rousseff and during Michel Temer’s presidency. That political climate makes her activism difficult, and, as festival viewers know, the documentary will show how many more setbacks she has to experience.

But Indianara does a lot before that cloud looms over. It makes its viewers feel Indianara’s energy as well as the people she’s fighting for and with. There’s a seriousness to their activism, knowing that their work goes beyond the regular offices of a government that’s barely pretending to be functional. It shows Indianara, fellow trans women, and their allies meeting in Casa Nem, a somewhat official shelter and organizing space for trans women.

Indianara also takes advantage of both its indoor and outdoor spaces. The latter is especially important since that’s where Indianara’s words and writings reverberate. Most of that work is great, but the documentary also shows how that writing’s honesty can be problematic for others. One of the people who has to read her is her partner, who is equally honest about how she disregards her love for him in the name of crushing the patriarchy.

In depicting these few years in Indianara’s life, there are practically no interviews nor narration. But this documentary is one of those examples that eventually shows its viewers the big picture. That approach makes its depiction of Brazil’s swing to far right politics all the more heartbreaking. The camera here closes up on her both on her joy and ultimate disappointment. The documentary, as a whole, hopes that she hangs on and fights for everyone.

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While Paolo Kagaoan is not taking long walks in shrubbed areas, he occasionally watches movies and write about them. His credentials are as follows: he has a double major in English and Art History. This means that, for example, he will gush at the art direction in the Amityville house and will want to live there, which is a terrible idea because that house has ghosts. Follow him @paolokagaoan on Instagram but not while you're working.
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