"Indianara": documentary about the struggle of the Brazilian transsexual activist arrives at the Festival de Cannes

"Indianara": documentary about the struggle of the Brazilian transsexual activist arrives at the Festival de Cannes

"She was tired, physically, mentally. She no longer saw herself in the fight for much longer," Barbosa told AFP in an interview.

The filmmakers' perseverance finally made the activist accept, especially since she knew her life could become an "example for the next generations."

Filming took place over two years, between demonstrations against former President Michel Temer in 2016 and the presidential elections of 2018 that brought Jair Bolsonaro to power.

During this period, the violent protests against Temer, militant meetings and, above all, Casa Nem, a residence occupied in the Lapa district of Rio de Janeiro, which housed mostly vulnerable LGBT members, one of the creators.

A "body-museum"

Indianara's struggle to defend minorities is reflected in her body. A "museum-body," says Chevalier-Beaumel.

"A body that carries all the fights, that also carries suffering, scars …", adds the director.

"He is very aware of the record of his fight and wants to leave things for other generations," he explains. So she finally agreed to be filmed.

On March 14, 2018, everything changed: Black female councilor Marielle Franco, who was fighting for the rights of blacks, women and the LGBT community, was shot dead in the center of Rio de Janeiro.

It was a heavy blow to the country, and also to Indianara. "She also felt threatened, thinking she would be next," confesses Chevalier-Beaumel.

With financial help, he installed a security camera system in his house.

"But she does not stop walking in the street, she does not stop going to the demonstrations, she does not leave at night", clarifies the director. "You do not want this to change your routine."

The documentary also shows the daily life of the transsexual militant with her partner, Mauricio, a conservative ex-military and very Catholic. That they love each other despite the abysmal differences that separate them, the filmmakers insist.

This particular relationship may represent a "message of hope," that there is a "possible dialogue" in a society totally divided after Bolsonaro's triumph.

The film competes with Queer Palm, which awards the best LGBT-themed movie.

Indianara planned to be in Cannes for the film's presentation, but a French court ruling in 2008 prevented her from traveling to La Croisette. In France, she was convicted of pimping and spent several years in prison.

For the directors, the activist turned the page of these facts, which they said were also in an attempt to protect people with problems.

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