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Fernando/Fernanda, a 19-year-old Brazilian transvestite, travels to Milan and becomes a prostitute to finance a sex-change operation. Fernanda dreams of becoming a "real" woman but in Milan is transformed instead into Princesa, a mysterious figure of allure. She then meets Gianni, a straight-laced, married businessman who falls in love with her. It all seems to good to be true...and is. Written by
Princesa is a very dark and gritty film. It is based on a novel of the same name written by Maurizio Janelli.
The film details the story of Fernanda, a Brazilian transsexual woman who immigrates to Italy in order to begin prostitution; not because she wants to, but simply because it was the only way to finance her goal of having a sexual reassignment surgery. Her self-esteem is taken to extreme lows until she meets Gianni; a levelheaded man who Fernanda as a real woman and not a sexual object. Some of Fernanda's self-esteem is regained through this relationship, but Fernanda still questions her own self-worth for not being born with a completely female body.
The film itself is visually dark because most of the scenes take place at night. This alone shows how transgered individuals are forced to work night-jobs, usually in the sex industry. The look of the film itself is also very gritty. This helps to communicate an unsettling sense of reality as such a struggle is not an uncommon thing.
The acting by Ingrid de Souza is top-notch, considering she is a transsexual female herself. The acting is very believable, in such a sense that it is almost not even acting; because Ingrid was apparaently channeling her own experiences and emotions into the performance. This is what makes the film so real.
If one choses to watch this film, don't expect any comedy, any amazing spectacle, or to feel happy at the end of the film. Be prepared to watch something that depicts a very unfortunate reality.
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