Archive of films Amazing Truth About Queen Raquela / The Amazing Truth About Queen Raquela
Iceland / USA
2007, 85 min
Section: Another View
There are a lot of “ladyboys” to be found on the streets of Philippine Manila who entice the most aggressive of men – it is the only way they can feel like women in spite of their bodies. Raquela however is trying to escape the spiral of prostitution. This semi-documentary film about one of the many ways to find one’s freedom was awarded at this year’s Berlinale.
As one of the film’s characters says: “Transsexuals are like cicadas. Just like them, for the first 17 years of their lives they hide their true faces. Only then do they leave the shelter of their cocoons and dazzle those around them with their song and gleaming smiles. And like cicadas, they never get old – they blaze and dish out love in heavy handfuls until they fall dead on the ground.” Raquela is one of the many “ladyboys” in Philippine Manila who lure the most aggressive of men off the streets, because it is the only way they can feel like women in spite of their bodies. Unlike her colleagues, however, Raquela tries to free herself from the spiral of prostitution that ends sooner or later in death: she uses Internet cafes to search for a rich tourist who would take her with him to the West and out of harm’s way. This raw, semi-documentary film about one of the many ways to find one’s freedom received a Teddy Award at this year’s Berlinale for Best Feature Film treating LGBT issues.
About the director
Olaf de Fleur Johannesson (b. 1975, Búðardalur, Iceland) was a student of physics at the University of Reykjavik but it was during his studies in the mid-1990s that he became a dedicated filmmaker. After working for two years in the production company Megafilm, which focuses primarily on TV documentaries, he founded his own independent production company, Poppoli Pictures. In 2004 and 2005 his films Shining Star (Blindsker) and Africa United (which he also presented at the Karlovy Vary Festival in 2005) won him two consecutive national Icelandic Edda awards for Best Feature Documentary. In 2007 he completed his first two feature films: The Amazing Truth About Queen Raquela and The Higher Force (Stóra planið).
About the film
Color, 35 mm
|Director:||Olaf de Fleur Johannesson|
|Screenplay:||Stefan Schaefer, Olaf de Fleur Johannesson|
|Dir. of Photography:||Butch Maddul|
|Music:||Pavel E. Smid|
|Editor:||Dagur Kári, Olaf de Fleur Johannesson|
|Producer:||Olaf de Fleur Johannesson, Arlen Cuevas, Stefan Schaefer, Helgi Sverrisson|
|Cast:||Raquela Rios, Stefan Schaefer, Brax Villa, Olivia Galudo, Valerie Grand Einarsson|
|Contact:||Icelandic Film Centre|
Film Institution Rep.