The Commonwealth of Puerto Rico is a difficult case; its residents live in a strange realm where they are not strictly "American" or "Puerto Rican", but somewhere in between. Documentary "MALA MALA: A Transformative Puerto Rican Documentary" examines another group living outside binaries: the transexual and drag queen populations on the island.
Through directors Antonio Santini and Dan Sickles, we see a community that embraces transformation. The documentary shows a life in which the line between performance and reality fades away, where fantasy and fact contribute to one's reality. As expressed in the film: "It's you. It's your alter ego. It's you to your fullest potential in the body of a woman." A fabulous Marilyn Monroe lookalike and a prissy Puerto Rican Paris Hilton are just some of the characters in a world where capturing ephemeral moments of beauty and fun are what being young is all about.
"MALA MALA" provides a thought-provoking look at where gender identity and cultural identity intersect, while showing that life still revolves around the search for selfhood and the love between friends. As directors Santini and Sickles said: "At its core, this film is a people piece. We are interested in the relationship between the internal and external being, the dynamics between performance and gender, and the power of self-discovery."
Help "MALA MALA" achieve its goals by donating to their Kickstarter page.
Hear from the directors and characters themselves below: