›› Mila Caos ‹‹

a short film by Simon(e) Jaikiriuma Paetau.

2011 | 18 mins | Cuba.

a wondrous insight into the life of an aspiring Cuban drag queen.

Dave says:

There's something wonderfully engaging about this short film from co-writer and director Simon(e) Jaikiriuma Paetau that follows the life of a young man who longs to entertain the world; drag queen style.

Yet the reality of life as a drag queen in Cuba hits home seconds upon the start of this perceptive work, when would-be cabaret artist Sebastián (Yaniel Castillo) finds himself thrown into the back of a police van, alongside seasoned veterans well used to the firm hand of the law being applied and in more ways, than one. Signed out of police custody by his mother Lucrecía (Rebecca Aragón) with an unimpressed "here we go again" look on her face; this is a young man who is as far removed from being in the closet, as day is to night. Camping it up around the house and in particular in front of his trans-friendly grandmother Chicha (Paula Ali), all he wants in life is for his mother to see him perform as his flamboyant alter-ego Mila Caos. Yet as his best friend Estrellita (Jaime Reyes) knows only too well, sometimes the things you long for in life, never come your way, given Lucrecía just cannot bring herself to see her son dressed that way. Or could she?

Complete with many a shot of the crumbling façades of Havana's backstreets, this wondrous insight into the life of an aspiring Cuban drag queen goes out of its way to juxtapose the unconditional love of a mother for her rainbow coloured son, with her sheer reluctance to face the reality of seeing him perform, as a she. Beautifully played by one and all throughout, here Paetau has let his camera roll on a part of Cuban life rarely seen, filming his work almost documentary fashion to deliver a series of home truths along the way. Frankly there's a lot to like here, including the requisite drag queen inspired routine, only perhaps not quite where you expect, as seventeen-year-old Sebastián finally gets the opportunity to shine as the diva he always wanted to be. Simply fabulous.

›› available as part of THE LATIN BOYS - VOLUME 1 shorts compilation.
›› posted: Thursday, 28th January, 2021.

Gay Visibility - overt. 
Nudity - from the waist up. 
Overall - file under ... 4 stars. 

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