Sunday, September 29, 2013

Quick Change

On the 13th September 2013, I was invited by Naomi of Ganda Filipina to go to UP (University of the Philippines) for a film screening by their movie club, its a local indie movie about transwomen lives in the Philippines. The title is 'Quick Change'. Basically, it tells real story about the life of transwomen who's going for the non-licensed individuals that pump silicon injection to other transwomen to make their body more curvy,feminine, sexy and attractive. Apparently there are also men who went for the injection to make their WIllie bigger. Like the title, for transwomen, it is a quick change to feminize their body. I find the film interesting, its just tell a section of transgender women community, but not the whole picture. As i remember few other of my Philippines sisters were also at the screening but they don't like the movie, some says its very negative, i realized maybe their story were not told as well. But i still find it interesting because basically this story exactly mirror the ones in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia where most of my sisters went for the silicon injection but most of them happy and look prettier and feminine. I also heard there are cases of complications and death and the pumper ran away somewhere long time a go. So within the transwomen community silicon injections for the feminine figures is nothing new, its been awhile long time before. Some addicted and overdid it and become what we call 'flowerhorn' for the extreme forehead and chin and some call Pharoah's chins. So far the key is moderation or maybe just 2 needles on left cheek and 2 on right cheek and stop. I wonder if this film were made in KL, i think nobody want to step up and volunteer to be in it, because its a don't ask don't tell thing within the community. 

Here is the film review from STRAP (Society of Transsexual Women of the Philippines)

Quick Change: The STRAP Review

The recently concluded Cinemalaya once more endeavored to explore real societal issues rarely tackled in glossy and budgeted films usually geared for Metro Manila Film Festival Releases. And with the exception of Vilma Santos, most of the actors in Cinemalaya are not usually associated with a long list of box office success and ear splitting fan screams.

Maybe this is what makes Cinemalaya all the more special, the themes of the movies are geared towards a wider movie going public and those who want to savor the more pungent aroma of gripping tales not so far away from one’s backyard.

The Society of Transsexual Women of the Philippines or STRAP toasts the inclusion and moreso the victory on one Cinemalaya entry, Quick Change directed by Eduardo Roy Jr.

The theme of this film is the core of STRAP’s advocacy, the education of the Filipino masses about the real life journeys of transgender Filipinas or Transpinays.

Roy’s take on the slice of life of transpinays is all too familiar but hardly evoked in films. The best part is the assumption of roles by real life transgender presenting albeit not necessarily trans-identifying actors like Mimi Juareza in the lead role as Dorina and Francine Garcia as Hazel. The latter who was recently crowned Super Sireyna Queen of Queens in Eat Bulaga was also marred with unfounded controversies possibly hurled against her by griping critics over her victory.

STRAP supports the victory of Francine in Super Sireyna as much as it supports the queenly and proud exhibitions of all Super Sireyna contestants this year. STRAP is also behind Francine in her fight to deflect those nasty character defaming claims. However, the more jubilant tone should be to celebrate Francine and Mimi’s successful and passionate and not to mention realistic characterizations in this gem of a movie.

Although STRAP advocates for safe and medically supervised gender transitioning for transgender people, Quick Change captured the reality that though at times life threatening, many transgender people opt to forego medical supervision for a quick beauty enhancement, a quick gender transition, a Quick Change.

In one of Roy’s recanting, he said that part of what inspired him to do this movie was the death of his friend from the use of collagen injections. But the film tackled this tough transitioning phase of transpinays head-on.

Apart from the readily observable changes brought about by collagen injections, Quick Change also echoed a slice of reality from a transgender person’s romantic liaisons. Though differing opinions and emotions may flow out as repercussive to one dimension of the film’s portrayal of transgender experience, it could not be denied that as there rarely are glimpses to a transpinay’s life on film, Quick Change hits home with subtle bravado because this rare glimpse is all too real.

Juareza’s victory in the Awards ceremonies may have come as a surprise to some and confusion for others, but for STRAP, this is still a welcome change. Maybe in the next awards season, transgender actors will be categorized based on their gender identities and the actors themselves will be proud to proclaim their transgender identities as well.

But in the end, as STRAP extends its warmest congratulations and salutations to the film, the director and its brave stars, we are optimistic that Quick Change will open more doors for brave storytelling and reality embodiment. That in the ensuing days or months or years, if it won’t be necessarily quick, there will indeed be change.

Brenda Alegre for STRAP

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