REBELS ON HEELS

By Simon JAIKIRIUMA PAETAU, Thais GUISASOLA

WELTFILM GMBH - as PROD

LGBT - Development 2020

Lucía, a transgender woman in Berlin, tries to find her place in the professional world while also fighting with her immigrant Colombian mother to recognize her identity.

    • Year of production
    • 2020
    • Genres
    • LGBT, Drama, First film
    • Countries
    • GERMANY, COLOMBIA
    • Languages
    • SPANISH, ENGLISH, GERMAN
    • Director(s)
    • Simon JAIKIRIUMA PAETAU, Thais GUISASOLA
    • Writer(s)
    • Simon JAIKIRIUMA PAETAU, Thais GUISASOLA
    • Producer(s)
    • Jorge BOTERO (SEPTIMA FILMS LTDA.), Kristina KONRAD (weltfilm GmbH)
    • Synopsis
    • As Lucía, a 30 years old transgender woman, fights to have an independent life, the raise of rents and immobiliary boom in Berlin, together with her low paying internship, forces her to find refuge back in her mother’s home in Neukölln. Gloría, her 62 year old mother who secretly suffers from health problems, is a German immigrant who took refuge when running away from the armed struggles in Colombia in 1987, while pregnant with Lucía. Gloria cannot accept her “son’s” transgender identity, despite the fact that Lucía tries to convey that it is not a choice but an integral part of who she is. This conflict increases the feelings of displacement and the everpresent silence between them.

      Lucía has been trying for the last few years to have a recognized position at the NGO offices she has worked at. Being denied the possibility of growing in her career, she realizes her degree does not grant her the privilege of having a job, rather she faces the harsh violence of transphobic work relations and street harassement. Also having difficulties in romantic relationships, Lucía is caught in the middle of a life cross-fire. Desperate for finding work that will allow her to rent her own apartment, Lucía wins over her stage fright and performs as a hooker in a TV show, fulfilling the latest hype for transgender actresses and further leading her mother to think she is lost and unfocused. Nonetheless all jobs she passes through do not provide her with a long term secure income.

      Lucía’s best friend Diva Halal is a lebanese transwoman refugee who is applying for an asylum seeker status in Germany. Their friendship helps them bridge the hardships of life, holding each other accountable when trouble presents itself. Inside a cabaret of a queer bar, Diva is able to perform her dreams and Lucía discovers her passion for light designing. A job in which she might be able to succeed. When Diva is about to get deported, Lucía proposes a marriage granting her the possibility of being legally recognized as a citizen by the German government.

      With the illness of her mother appearing and abruptly taking her life away, Lucía finds out about Gloria’s traumatic past, and revisits their relationship by recognizing the love they had for each other, especially after Gloria’s note in which she refers to her daughter as Lucía. In her first day working as a light designer, Lucía dresses herself with her mother’s old guerrilla clothing, as she illuminates the stage for Diva’s performance.
    • Partners & financing
    • Jorge Botero, septimfilms Bogotá
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