Raquela is a transsexual-or "ladyboy"-from the Philippines who dreams of escaping the streets of Cebu City for a fairy tale life in Paris. In order to make her dreams come true, she turns from prostitution toward the more lucrative business of Internet porn. Her success as a porn star brings new friends, including Valerie, a ladyboy in Iceland, and Michael, the owner of the website Raquela works for. Valerie helps Raquela get as far as Iceland. From there, Michael offers her a rendezvous in Paris. Will Paris be everything she dreamed of? And will Michael turn out to be her Prince Charming? Written by
Johannesson, Olaf de Fleur
Olaf de Fleur met Raquela Rios on the Internet after having seen transsexuals dressed like Paris Hilton in poor parts of Cebu City on a visit to the Philippines. Many were auditioned for the main part that ended with Raquela. See more »
Curiosity doesn't always kill the cat! I stumbled upon this movie at the Copenhagen "Cinemateket" during the Gay & Lesbian film festival. Having lived in France and the Philippines, and once having visited Iceland, I grew curious about the movie. I had heard about transsexuals while in the Philippines and had no opinion about them, but the film seemed to have some funny aspects, so I found myself a chaperon and there I went! I am glad I went, I unfortunately missed the first 5 or 10 minutes, but the rest did definitely leave its mark on me.
I somewhat disagree with the movie tag line "A Cinderella Story," there is some of "this" of course but it is only a side line. I read that the movie was first intended to be a documentary and that gives it a fast pace and veracity. It is actually quite difficult to distinguish between what would be fictional and what is reenacted. The acting is not always strict professional work but is intense and succeed in communicating feelings to the spectator...it works well! The plot seems sometimes to be "too go to be true" but the film moves on and keeps you interested until the end. Some the scenes are actually funny and the audience laughed more than once.
It is a tale about "differences," about "weirdness" and tolerance. The Elephant Man of David Lynch said "I am a human being," this is never spelled out by Raquela but the message is the same and is delivered in a deep and moving way.
I don't recall any embarrassing or disturbing scene, there is almost no nudity and always displayed in a non provocative way. Queen Raquela should not be categorized as a "militant" movie, it just a movie about life, a strange life, a non conventional life but absolutely human. I would be glad that Queen Raquela gets away from too many Gay & Lesbian film festivals and reaches a wider audience, it deserves it!
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