Mia

DIRECTOR: Javier Van de Couter

Ale is a watcher. As she moves through her daily routine—scavenging, streetwalking, and sewing for her friends in the “pink village,” a shanty town inhabited by fellow transgender and gay people in Buenos Aires—she observes the middle-class world on the other side of restaurant windows and behind gated courtyards.

But when she scavenges the diary of a mysterious woman named Mía, she finds herself drawn into the problems of one of these middle-class families. In particular, she meets Julia, an unhappy young girl who has lost her mother, and who adopts Ale as a substitute. Skillfully interweaving Julia’s comfortable world with that of the pink village and its struggle for survival, director Javier Van de Couter creates a poignant meditation on family, home, and loss.

Stubbornly, Ale pursues her friendship with Julia, despite the skepticism of her friend Pedro and the opposition of Julia’s father. The experience of mothering the young girl transforms Ale. At the beginning of the film she tells an interviewer who is documenting the pink village and its fight for survival, “I can’t complain.” By the end she is standing up to gay-bashers and declaring, “I want a real house.”

Ale’s shanty town is based on an actual pink village in Buenos Aires; it was destroyed by the government in 1998. There are no fairy-tale endings here, nor does the film sugarcoat Ale’s life—but it will leave you cheering her indomitable spirit.

— MONICA NOLAN

In Spanish with English subtitles.

AT&T Audience Award Text Voting Code: F125

Co-presented by:
El/la Program Para Trans-Latinas

Co-presented by:
Cine+Mas - San Francisco Latino Film Festival

Get the Frameline Festival App

A festival in your pocket

FilmFest is a simple, easy to use pocket guide to all the films in this year's festival.

Frameline36 app available now!