Bixa Travesty is performative cinema verite, part concert documentary, part radio show, and has its obligatory flashback segments. It is 100% punk even though its main subject MC Linn da Quebrada, is a fierce Brazilian funk spitter. The scenes that look like a radio show are the most interesting ones and the liveliest. They’re also educational and confrontational. Da Quebrada tells us her perspective on being trans and her body that she admits is unusual. She deconstructs cis gender perspectives and stereotypes towards her sexuality. She corrects us that yes, she has desires and it’s not what we think she desires.
Born in the favelas of Sao Paulo, Da Quebrada uses strong language to describe herself. She uses words that were the movie’s original title. Both words I won’t repeat in public and one I won’t in private. However, her choices show her individual interpretations of sexuality. That since there aren’t two genders anymore, that interpretations of what trans is shouldn’t be as strict neither. This is an intellectually dense film, as she discusses these issues while breaking the fourth wall. There are also other gender expansive people in this doc that she can bounce off these rich ideas with.
As smart and as frank as this doc is, there’s a lot missing visually. Some of what we see on screen, especially on how it depicts da Quebrada’s body. These visuals can trigger some trans people, even if she consents to this depiction. There’s also a lack of structure here. Even during the concert footage it switches from one performance to another, speaking to the ephemeral nature of her music. These shifts can also confuse some people in the audience. Nonetheless it was nice to see and hear such a woman and it makes me wish more people saw this.