By Manar Ammar
Argentinian film Mia is not only a triumph for transgender rights but, it is a cinematic experience worth celebrating.”¨”¨
It is a poetic and splendid narrative and its genuine disarming performances makes this film an Argentinian event.”¨”¨
Ale, Camela Sosa Villada, a real life transgender actress, is a trans woman collecting Buenos Aires rubbish for a living and residing with her friends in the Pink Village, a ghetto community that acts as a refuge for transgender and gay people on the outskirts of the city.”¨
Rejected and mocked by society, as well as terrorized and battered by police, Ale finds a beautiful escape in watching others live. She dreams of a full life, becoming a “full person” and to have house that is equipped with electricity and water. She is not after a reward; a simple job will do. Shunned and expelled from society, Ale and friends take refuge on a plot of land they call home. But now the city wants to evict them and police raids are nonstop.”¨
The real Villa Rosa, or Pink Village, was founded in 1995 in the city of Buenos Aires and was violently destroyed three years later by a federal judge’s orders, the film states. In real Buenos Aires, it was created as a reactionary location to the controversial homophobic statements by archbishop Antonio Quarracino, who argued that the LGBT community should be ghettoized because “in that way a stain would be cleaned up from the face of society.””¨
In one of her collection trips, Ale finds the diaries of a fashion journalist named Mia, who leaves the notebook explaining to her daughter Julia, Maite Lanata, what she was going through, while grieving husband Manuel, Rodrigo Del La Serna, drowns his sorrows in the bottle.
Ale and Julia grow closer as she steps in to fill the mother’s shoes. Events escalate as pressure increases to move out and the news that Julia and her father will move away to the south, threatening her long awaited dream of a home and a child.”¨
Ale, portrayed by Villada, originally from Cordoba in Argentina, is simply brilliant and has great facial and vocal capacity to convey the character’s intricate emotional state. It is an unforgettable performance.”¨
Mia is the first feature from director Javier Van de Couter and it shows a level of cinematic maturity and a poetic sense that will put de Couter into the realm of a director to pay attention to and await his next projects.”¨
Mia is an emotional journey into the ghettoized lives of transgendered people in Argentina, who are unable to integrate or relate to society.
They live on its outskirts, looking at the glossy bright lives of those living, quite literarily, above them as they continue on their path.”¨
“¨In her diary, Mia writes “no one is born complete” and Ale wishes to be whole and complete, as she navigates her life full of love and life, waiting to be gifted.
** Mia will be showing at this week’s Sonoma International Film Festival