Film: Puerto Rican Documentary “Mala Mala” to Premiere at Tribeca

The 13th Annual Tribeca Film Festival will be held April 16-27, 2014. Besides a great number of U.S. films, it will also premiere films from Latin America and the Caribbean, including Mexico, Colombia and Puerto Rico.

Some examples are the Colombian film Manos sucias [Dirty Hands] by Josef Wladyka (co-written by Alan White), about a fisherman who needs to deal drugs in order to survive; Gueros [White Boys], by Mexican director Alonso Ruizpalacios, about student strikes in Mexico City in the late 1990s; and the documentary Mala Mala [Bad Bad] by Antonio Santini and Dan Sickles, about the transgender community in Puerto Rico. A U.S. film with a Latin American flavor is Chef, starring Sofia Vergara, Jon Favreau, Scarlett Johansson, and John Leguizamo.

mala-mala_web_2.jpg_thumbnail0Mala Mala examines the transexual and drag queen populations on the island. According to Priscilla Frank (Huffington Post), through directors Antonio Santini and Dan Sickles, we see a community that embraces transformation. She writes, “The documentary shows a life in which the line between performance and reality fades away, where fantasy and fact contribute to one’s reality. As expressed in the film: ‘It’s you. It’s your alter ego. It’s you to your fullest potential in the body of a woman.’ A fabulous Marilyn Monroe lookalike and a prissy Puerto Rican Paris Hilton are just some of the characters in a world where capturing ephemeral moments of beauty and fun are what being young is all about.”

Mala Mala provides a thought-provoking look at where gender identity and cultural identity intersect, while showing that life still revolves around the search for selfhood and the love between friends. As directors Santini and Sickles say, “At its core, this film is a people piece. We are interested in the relationship between the internal and external being, the dynamics between performance and gender, and the power of self-discovery.”

For the article (consulted) on the Tribeca Film Festival (in Spanish), see

For information on Mala Mala, see

Also see

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