Die Standing Up
Morir de Pie

DIRECTOR: Jacaranda Correa

Where most saw defeat, socialist activist Irina Layevska saw a call to action; it was now or never, and her body is her first site of revolution. She was still in diapers when doctors said she wouldn’t live past twenty. Irina was born into a male body; she grew up idolizing Che Guevara and spent much of her young life fighting in the Cuban solidarity movement.

Socialists talk about a “new man,” one that has to learn indirectly how to be in a newly left-wing society. It’s a simple idea, but it’s hardly easy to execute; and Layevska and her partner Nelida Reyes live the truth of the adage. They married in Cuba: Layevska was a socialist leader and Nelida a major player. A totemic revolutionary couple, Irina’s confinement to a wheelchair appeared incidental against an indomitable spirit and relentlessness in the face of indifference. Though they’re evidently tough, their tenderness towards each other is inspiring. Nelida has committed herself to understanding her feelings towards her partner’s disability and massive life changes. “I don’t think of it as death,” she says, “the person just isn’t around anymore.” The “old man” is replaced by a “new woman,” in a nation that’s not quite prepared for this transition.

Crowned Best Mexican Documentary at the Guadalajara Film Festival, Mexican anchorwoman and journalist Jacaranda Correa’s directorial debut takes a gentle but powerful approach to record the transformations of these gentle and powerful people.

— SARA MARIA VIZCARRONDO

In Spanish with English subtitles.

AT&T Audience Award Text Voting Code: D208


Co-presented by:
El/la Program para Trans-Latinas
Transgender Law Center

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