The Amazing Truth About Queen Raquela
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The Amazing Truth About Queen Raquela

Iceland, 2007, 80 Minute Running Time
Additional Countries: Phillipines
Genre/Subjects: Asian / Pacific Islander, Documentary, Gender, Male-to-Female, Sex Work, Transgender
Program: World Cinema
Language: English, Icelandic, Cebuano, Thai

DIRECTOR: Olaf de Fleur Johannesson

A Filipina “lady-boy” blessed with extraordinary beauty and grace, Raquela Rios makes her living by walking the streets and serving a clientele with exotic tastes. Alas, this self-proclaimed queen dreams of far bigger and better things, so when she’s recruited by a fellow transsexual to join the lucrative world of Internet porn, Raquela puts on a nurse’s uniform and dives in headfirst. Her online popularity skyrockets, and soon she’s off living a life of odd adventures — traveling to Iceland, working in a fish factory and, finally, fulfilling a lifelong dream to see Paris. And once the site’s New York-based owner takes a shine to her and visits her in the City of Light, Raquela may even find true love.
Part fact and part fairytale, Olaf de Fleur Johannesson’s dazzling docudrama blends gritty vérité and fictional flights of fancy to chronicle this truly transtastic character’s life. Actors trade lines with sex-industry professionals, key moments are recreated with a certain dreamy liberty, and you’re never sure whether you’re watching reality or fantasy. What’s never in doubt is the sense of empowerment that Raquela — playing herself, natch — brings to every encounter and interaction in which she engages. Winner of this year’s prestigious Teddy Award at the Berlin Film Festival, Johannesson’s tribute to Rios truly earns the titular adjective; it’s amazing from start to finish. All hail the Queen! — DAVID FEAR

co-presented by

Asian & Pacific Islander Wellness Center



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