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Just Another Third World Tranny in The Amazing Truth About Queen Raquela

The amazing truth about Queen Raquela is that she's constructed from clichés, infected by media-borne dictates of insipid faggotry that have, unfortunately, circled the globe and made near-insufferable creatures out of too many queers. The not-quite-amazing truth about this "documentary" is that it's actually mildly engrossing, building to a final-act clash between First and Third worlds that is riveting and highly uncomfortable to watch. The quotation marks around "documentary" are because writer-director Olaf De Fleur Johannesson employs dramatic re-creations and staged moments in the telling of the real life story of his subject, Raquela, a Filipina lady-boy who, playing herself in the film, pines for Europe, a white knight, and real womanhood. Anyone who's seen any of the endless documentaries on Third World trannys can tick off the checklist of items found here: hooking to make a living; repeated cycles of disappointment at the hands of "real" men who ply fantasies then flee pay-off; vapid bitchiness passed off as queer wit; really bad plastic surgery. It's a bleak, often grim, fairy tale. But there are powerful moments of insight, too, as when, explaining in voiceover why she prefers unsafe sex, Raquela states that the feel of the unsheathed dick inside her is ". . . one way to make us feel like women."


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